Republic of Ireland received a favourable matchup in their World Cup play-off match as they were drawn against Denmark.
The Boys in Green beat Wales 1-0 on the final matchday to leapfrog Chris Coleman’s side and guarantee a spot in the play-offs, whilst Denmark finished second in Group E behind Poland.
Their neighbours to the north, however, were handed a more difficult fate as draw-master Fernando Hierro pitted them against Switzerland.
Northern Ireland did magnificently in the main group stage, finishing as runners up behind Germany, and their opponents were pipped to the post after losing 2-0 to Portugal on the final matchday – despite winning all nine of their other group matches.
The Home Nation side, led by manager Michael O’Neill, were out at 7/4 (2.75) before the draw was made and now sit even longer at 2/1 (3.0); the Swiss, meanwhile, are heavy 4/11 (1.36) favourites to qualify for Russia.
Patriotic punters, meanwhile, can back a 5/1 (6.0) double that would see both sides qualify for the World Cup next year.
Gian Perio Ventura’s men could only claim second in their group, which also included Spain, whilst Sweden edged out the Netherlands to grab the play-off spot in Group A.
The other group game sees Croatia, who beat Ukraine 2-0 in Kiev in their last game to nab the spot from their Eastern European opponents, face Greece – Group G runners up behind Belgium. The Croats can be backed at 4/11 (1.36) to qualify, with the Euro 2004 winners quoted at 2/1 (3.0).