December 1, 2021

FIFA World Cup Qualifiers: Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal Possibly To Take On Italy

2 min read

Things are indeed getting interesting as the FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifiers are heating up. While Portugal—helmed by Cristiano Ronaldo—has at least secured a spot in the FIFA World Cup by winning their group in the playoffs, it’s not going to be such an easy task to pull off.

Pundits are looking forward to seeing the Portuguese and Manchester United star helm Portugal match vs Italy in what could be a showdown of giants. We are looking at two winners of the most recent editions of the European Championships, and neither side looks to miss outright qualification for the World Cup.

How the Playoffs Work

The new playoff seeding system features 12 teams. These teams will battle for any of the three available slots for the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar. Both are seeded in the semi final draw but the potential of them meeting before that event isn’t ruled out. They could figure in an early battle between past Euro Cup Champions.

The competition is set to begin with a playoff draw in Zurich, Switzerland on Friday, Nov. 26, at 4 PM GMT. Portugal is seeded together with the Italy football team as well as Wales, Russia, Scotland, and Sweden. On the other hand, Turkey, Poland, Ukraine, North Macedonia, Czech Republic, and Austria make up the unseeded teams.

Where the Competitions Will Take Place

Nations that are seeded will receive the advantage of home field in the semifinals, which is set as one-legged draws to be played on March 24. These teams will also face off against other unseeded teams, with each drawn in random order.

There are paths that determine which teams play against each other. Semis 1 winners go against Semis 2 winners in path A. In the same fashion, paths B and C lets Semis 3 winners go against Semis 4 winners, while Semis 5 winners go against Semis 6 winners, respectively.

What This Means for Portugal

Any of the 12 nations in the playoffs don’t have the benefit of surprise thanks to how they are drawn. Italy and Portugal are getting ready to face off against each other as well as against other teams. Ronaldo should be at his top form in the competitions, as the loser faces outright elimination and lose the chance to play in the World Cup.

Ukraine and Russia, however, won’t be able to face off against each other for political reasons. That’s something that even 12BET online sports betting fans can predict.

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