Zurich: Former world champions France will play Ukraine for a place in the World Cup finals in Brazil next year with the advantage of the second leg at home following the draw for the European play-offs on Monday.
Portugal will meet Sweden, featuring a match-up between two of the world’s most exciting players – Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Greece will take on Romania and Iceland, who have never played at the finals of a major tournament, are up against Croatia.
The last meeting between France and Ukraine ended in a 2-0 win for France after thunder and lightning caused their Euro 2012 match in Donetsk to be suspended last year.
France, who were unseeded in the draw and at 21st are world ranked one place below Ukraine, boast an unbeaten record against the East Europeans with four wins and three games drawn.
“Ukraine are a team who do not concede a lot of goals, but it’s good we are playing the second leg at home,” said France coach Didier Deschamps who was relieved to have avoided Portugal in the draw.
France finished second behind world champions Spain in European Group I while Ukraine were runners-up to England in Group H.