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European play-offs for the 2010 World Cup

World Cup
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So Switzerland and Slovakia have clinched Europe's final two automatic qualifying spots for the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa.

We also know the full line-up of the play-offs after Portugal, Greece, Ukraine and Slovenia sealed their runner-up spots.

They join Russia, France, Republic of Ireland and Bosnia-Herzegovina, who are already in the play-offs.

The two-legged play-off matches will be played on 14 and 18 November, with the draw to take place on Monday.

As you probably have heard, the draw will be seeded - with Russia, France, Greece and Portugal likely to be kept apart if the seeding is done according to Fifa world rankings.

But will that quartet be the teams to reach next summer's finals or will an underdog upset the pecking order?

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posted Oct 15, 2009

It's a shame England lost against the Ukraine then Croatia instead of Ukraine would have reached the play-off being top seeded at the expense of Portugal. :-)

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posted Oct 15, 2009

Mad how the Swiss regularly qualify for tournaments - I know they were automatic last time - but tournaments before and after - When they actually play on the big stage they are absolutely dire. No guts at all. Guarantee you they will be on a plane home after first round. Greece must be pretty poor these days if they finished second to them. They are without a doubt the top seed everyone will want.

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posted Oct 15, 2009

You don't remember USA94? The Swiss had a good team then and played impressively against the U.S taking the lead with a fantastic free kick. They even qualified for the second round.
This time round let's hope Portugal are kept out of the tournament. They played dirty and cheated, ask England, in the last two WC.

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posted Oct 15, 2009

Ireland shouldn't complain about the seeding for the playoffs. The group they were placed in was fairly good for them apart from Italy (thought world champions have struggled since 2007), Bulgaria, Montenegro, Cyprus and Georgia

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posted Oct 15, 2009

laliga

Ireland shouldn't complain about the seeding for the playoffs. The group they were placed in was fairly good for them....

They are two completely separate issues. Not sure I can be bothered explaining again.......

Italy and Bulgaria were fully expected to take the top two spots so how this group was good for them I don't know. There were far weaker groups than this.

As for the Swiss in 94 - that is a long time ago - I just meant the last few I've seen them in where they have been absolutely terrible.

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posted Oct 15, 2009

I wonder if people would have been complaining so much about the seedings had England wound up in the playoffs. My guess is there would have been a lot less outrage then.

Seeding by world ranking is daft anyway, if you're going to seed these playoffs, do it by points gained in qualifying or something.

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posted Oct 15, 2009

Not sure what all the outrage is about... I reckon if FIFA is wrong, then the smaller teams should benefit. Why? because if France did not deserve to be seeded then Ireland would kick the living daylights of them right, right?
So maybe if all the seeded teams win their playoff ties then we should be praising FIFA for allowing the World Cup qualification process to truly showcase the best talent. Period.

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posted Oct 15, 2009

If we get France or Greece, the chances aren't really that small, because they are not such good teams as they were in the past.

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posted Oct 15, 2009

Sunskreen

Why do people need this explained to them? How plainly obvious is it? They were ALREADY seeded. They ALREADY had their advantage given to them. They didn't take it. Who's problem is that? How many times exactly do they need to be given an advantage or helping hand from 'fair play' FIFA? If you are so interested in making sure the traditional teams keep being succcessful how about basically making the path as easy as possible the entire way through the World Cup for Italy Germany and Brazil who are by a distance the world leaders over the years? There are only so many times you can keep giving teams an advantage before it ceases to be an actual competition and starts being an elite club only a select few are invited to.

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posted Oct 15, 2009

Sorry but this talk of seedings is nonsense now, its two games, I think the Ukrainians would fancy beating either Slovenia or France. Portugal and France would expect to beat them all and sadly Ireland would be happy with a plucky lost to any of them. I never bothered to study seeding possibilities before the play offs, I wrongly assumed the best runner up would play home and away against the worse runner up, and the second best against the second worse and so on. That would have kept things simple. However, I'm just a fan, so what do I know?

There are too many possible outcomes of the 'draw,' right now to say who will win and qualify, but seeding controversy apart, the so called smaller countries especially Ireland and Slovenia I feel have a good chance to qualify.

Lets not forget that France had a glorious period but before then missed out on a few qualifications while Portugal currently have a team of stars is it as good as the team of Figo, Costa and so on? I don't know. One player won't win the World Cup, sorry Ronaldo fans, but its true.

Depending on the draw, and being a football fantasist I will probably put my money on Ireland, Slovenia, France and the Ukraine to qualify.

It would be frustratingly ironic, and very painful to see a France versus Argentina final next summer, but for a gamble, you might get some good odds right now.

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