The Italians were condemned to the playoffs after finishing runners-up to Spain in their qualifying group.
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Four-time winners Italy will play Sweden in a playoff for a place in the 2018 World Cup while the Republic of Ireland take on Denmark, following the draw Tuesday.Northern Ireland will tackle Switzerland and Croatia and Greece will contest the other two-legged Europe zone playoffs to be played between Nov. 9 and 14 .Gabriele Oriali, the Italy team manager who attended the draw in place of coach Gian Piero Ventura, said: "I think it could have been better.Sweden coach Janne Andersson said he expected "two tough games".Northern Ireland coach Michael O'Neill admitted he faced an uphill task against the Swiss as he bids to steer his country to the finals for the first time since 1986 .Croatia will host surprise Euro 2004 winners Greece in the first leg of their playoff.
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