The list of teams drawn to meet in Euro qualifier play-offs has been finalized and is as follows:
- Turkey Vs Croatia
- Estonia Vs Republic of Ireland
- Czech Republic Vs Montenegro
- Bosnia and Herzegovina Vs Portugal
The teams were drawn from the nine runners-up from the group stages of the qualifiers to the finals to be held in Ukraine and Poland, next year. The list does not include Sweden, who joined the nine group winners by virtue of being the best runners-up.
The two-leg playoffs have been scheduled to kick off on November 11/12 and November15 with the first named teams set to play at home in the first leg and the four winners due to advance to next year’s finals. Group winners, Germany, Russia, Italy, France, Netherlands, Greece, England, Denmark and Spain have already qualified alongside hosts Ukraine and Poland.
Turkey and Croatia last met in the Euro 2008 quarter-final, a game that ended in a 1-1 draw, with both goals coming in the dying stages of extra time. Turkey advanced to the semi-finals after winning the resultant penalty shoot out.
Ireland controversially missed out on qualifying to the 2010 FIFA world cup finals but are expected to have an easy route to the Euro 2012 finals against Estonia. Estonia were surprise runners up behind Italy in group C after beating Northern Ireland in both legs of qualifiers. The Irish won on both the two past meetings between the sides, in the qualifiers for the 2002 world cup in Korea.
Bosnia and Portugal met in the 2010 World Cup play-offs, with the Portuguese qualifying for the finals in South Africa, following a 2-0 win on aggregate.
In the fourth game, Czech Republic, distant runners up to Spain in Group I, take on Montenegro. Montenegro finished second in Group G to England and this is their first play-off qualification, as in the case of Estonia.
Turkey, Ireland, Czech Republic and Portugal, all seeded teams, are expected to win the play-offs and advance to the finals to be held in June and July of 2012, in Ukraine and Poland.
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Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.