World Cup: Northern Ireland to face Switzerland in World Cup play-off

Jonny Evans is on a yellow card heading into the first leg of the play-off against Switzerland
Jonny Evans is on a yellow card heading into the first leg of the play-off against Switzerland

Northern Ireland will take on Switzerland in the play-offs of the 2018 World Cup for a spot in the finals.

Michael O'Neill's men avoided four-time winners Italy and will be hopeful of booking their place in Russia next summer.

Northern Ireland, who finished second to Germany in Group C, will take on the Swiss in a two-legged tie which will take place between 9 -14 November. The first leg will be at Windsor Park.

Switzerland were unlucky not to reach the finals as winners of Group B, ending the campaign with nine wins from their 10 qualifiers.

They lost to Portugal in the final game of the group to finish behind the European champions and are the highest-ranked nation in the play-offs, sitting 11th in the rankings.

Northern Ireland lost to Germany and Norway in their final two qualifiers but still finished four points clear of Czech Republic to seal their place in the play-offs.

Michael O'Neill took them to the second round at Euro 2016 and they are 23rd in the latest FIFA rankings.

The Republic of Ireland were paired with Denmark while Croatia play Greece. Italy and Sweden drawn together in an eye-catching fixtures.