World Cup Qualifying – European Play-Off Draw on Monday

18th October 2009 | World Cup Betting category: Football World Cup News
Football World Cup News

Monday, October 19th sees the draws for the pairing off of the remaining European competitors for the World Cup qualifying play-offs. The best 8 runner’s-up from Europe, which include some big names, go into a two-leg knockout to try and secure a place in World Cup 2010. The draw takes place at the home of FIFA, Zurich, Switzerland and if you want to keep up with the action, then it will be possible to watch a live stream of the draw on the official FIFA website. This is the European qualifying stage down to the wire now with eight teams battling for four spots.

France, Greece, Portugal and Russia are the four ranked teams out of the eight, which are based on the next release of FIFA world rankings. That means that Ireland, Slovenia, Ukraine and Bosnia will have to await their fate to be drawn against one of the top four runner’s-up. This is the last chance saloon for the nearly ran’s from the European groups, to stake a claim for South Africa 2010. Looking at the draw there are not going to be any easy fixtures, but the advantage of being seeded is that France, for example aren’t going to have to go head to head with another strong team like Portugal. This should make passage all that much easier, as opposed to a blind draw. That does not mean however, that any of the non-seeded teams are going to be pushovers, as they are there on merit.

Ireland did not lose a qualifying match in a group with Italy, and Bosnia, fuelled by an awesome strike force, finished only second to the Spanish, which is nothing to be sneezed at. It would be Bosnia’s first appearance in the World Cup, were they to qualify. Slovenia played their way almost to the top of their group, beating eventual winners Slovakia twice, and Greece are always going to be a tough team to overturn as they are a great collective. These are going to be some monumental battles, and if momentum is anything to go by, then France and Portugal should be two of the favourites to qualify, which is reflected in some early prices at BetFair. More odds will become available when the draw is made. Russia are not going to be any pushovers, despite slacking off after a crucial defeat by Germany which ended their chances of finishing top. They were semi finalists in Euro 2008 and look a very strong team.

The matches themselves will be played on November 14th and 18th on a home and away basis.  These will produce some fascinating matches and there is now no room whatsoever for error.

France: 1/4 at BetFair
Portugal: 4/13 at BetFair
Russia: 7/17 at BetFair
Greece: 5/6 at BetFair

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