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The records at stake in N. Ireland vs Switzerland

World Cup playoffs: The records at stake in Northern Ireland vs Switzerland

November 8, 2017 By Ali M.
The Green and White Army welcomes Switzerland in the first of their two-legged tie.

The international break is usually a drab for football fans. National teams can never match the excitement of Europe’s top leagues, but lovers of the beautiful game have something to look forward to this time around: the World Cup playoffs.

Four highly-anticipated games will be played in Europe. With four UEFA tickets to the 2018 World Cup still up for grabs, the eight best second-placed nations – Switzerland, Italy, Croatia, Denmark, Republic of Ireland, Sweden, Northern Ireland, and Greece – will battle it out.

Northern Ireland takes on Switzerland in the first playoff. This will be an interesting clash to watch, as both sides have a fair claim on a ticket to Russia. Here are four records that can be broken in their Thursday encounter.

Northern Ireland’s 32-year wait for another World Cup appearance

Next year will mark 32 years since the Green and White Army’s last World Cup appearance. They last qualified for the coveted competition in 1986, a wait which they can end starting Thursday.

Back-to-back major competitions for O’Neill’s side?

In 2016, not only did Northern Ireland qualify for Euro 2016, they also reached the round of 16.  Never has the Green and White Army qualified for consecutive major tournaments. That could end starting Thursday.

Switzerland: the best team to not qualify?

Never has a team failed to qualify for the World Cup after earning 27 points in the group phase. Switzerland, who missed out on the top spot on goal difference despite winning 27 points, could become the first

Switzerland to end 53-year wait for victory?

These two nations have faced off four times in history. Schweizer Nati has triumphed only once, with that sole victory coming in November 1964.

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