The Fifa draw therefore established these crossings in the blue group: Italy-North Macedonia and Portugal-Turkey. In the other groups Scotland-Ukraine and Wales-Austria will be played, and Russia-Poland and Sweden-Czech Republic. The Azzurri will play the semi-final at home and, in the event of victory, the eventual play-off away from home. This was decided by the draw in Zurich.
“The draw could have been a little better. Both us and Portugal will have to beat Macedonia and Turkey, since it is a dry match there are always difficulties ». This was said by the Italian national team coach Roberto Mancini to Rai microphones after the draw for the playoffs that will see the Azzurri face North Macedonia in the semifinals and possibly Portugal or Turkey in the final.
SCOTLAND group a – UKRAINE
WALES group a – AUSTRIA
RUSSIA group b – POLAND
SWEDEN group b – CZECH REPUBLIC
ITALY group c – NORTHERN MACEDONIA
PORTUGAL group c – TURKEY
Shortly at 5 pm the Italian national football team will meet the rivals on the way to qualify for the Qatar 2022 World Cup: the draws of the 12 teams will be held in Zurich that will compete for the last 3 European slots left free for the Middle East.
It is a totally new formula compared to the one that was fatal to Italy in the double confrontation with Sweden in 2017. After the great failed opportunity in the direct clash with Switzerland and the insipid white goal draw with Northern Ireland, Mancini’s men will in fact be expected from two finals in these playoffs: missing one means making Qatar another nightmare after Russia 2018.
The Azzurri are seeded together with Portugal, Scotland, Russia, Sweden and Wales, while the unseeded are Turkey, Poland, North Macedonia, Ukraine, Austria and the Czech Republic.
The playoffs are divided into three paths A, B and C and each of these will lead to the qualification for the World Cup. Each mini group consists of two semi-finals, in which the seeded teams will face off against the unseeded ones. The two winners will face each other in the final and whoever wins will snatch the pass for Qatar.