Switzerland, Italy top Europe’s World Cup playoffs lineup

ZURICH (AP) — Switzerland is the highest-ranked team in Europe’s World Cup playoffs after losing to Portugal in their qualifying duel Tuesday.

The Swiss were joined by Sweden and Greece in the eight-team playoff lineup.

FIFA draws the pairings in Zurich next Tuesday, one day after confirming seeding according to its monthly rankings.

Though Switzerland’s winning streak ended with a 2-0 loss in Lisbon, it was assured of the best record among nine group runners-up.

Slovakia misses out as the runner-up with the worst record. Results against last-place teams were excluded from the tiebreaker.

First-leg games are played Nov. 9-11. Return games are Nov. 12-14.

The World Cup tournament draw is made Dec. 1 in Moscow.

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European playoffs:

Seeded teams: Switzerland, Italy, Croatia, Denmark.

Unseeded teams: Northern Ireland, Sweden, Ireland, Greece.

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