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Switzerland set to seal World Cup spot

11 November 2017 | WC Qualification UEFA | Preview
Switzerland set to seal World Cup spot
Marco Iacobucci EPP /

Switzerland can seal their place at next year’s World Cup by avoiding defeat in Sunday’s second leg playoff against Northern Ireland in Basel.

The home side recorded a rather fortuitous 1-0 win in the first leg at Windsor Park, as their goal came from a highly controversial penalty kick.

Victory in Belfast means that a draw would be enough to see them through to Russia 2018. Vladimir Petkovic’s side will be highly confident of seeing this tie through.

The Rossocrociati head into this game in fine form. They recorded victories in their first nine World Cup qualifiers, only to be beaten 2-0 by rivals Portugal in their final game and miss out on the automatic qualification spot.

Switzerland have also been imperious on home soil in recent World Cup qualifiers, winning their last six, while keeping five clean sheets in the process. In fact, they are unbeaten in 14 World Cup qualifiers on home soil, while suffering just one defeat in their last 21 outings at home in qualifying.

Northern Ireland will feel aggrieved at losing the first leg, but face a massive uphill struggle to make next year’s World Cup.

Michael O’Neill’s side produced some outstanding displays to finish second in a group containing world champions Germany.

However, the visitors have now suffered three consecutive defeats in World Cup qualifying and need an improved performance from the first leg to have any hope of making next year’s big event.

Northern Ireland’s recent away record in World Cup qualifying does not suggest that they will pull off a shock in this clash. O’Neill’s side have won just two of their last 12 games on their travels in qualifying.

In fact, two of their last three away wins in qualifying have come against one of Europe’s whipping boys San Marino.

Forebet predicts that Switzerland will book their place at next year’s World Cup with a comfortable victory in Basel.

Predictions for WC Qualification UEFA

Home team - Away team Forebet
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N. IrelandSwitzerland
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11/11/2017 19:45

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