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ESPN FC  By Dale Johnson

World Cup qualifying playoffs in Europe: All you need to know

With the playoff teams set in Europe, the FC crew assess which unseeded side has the best chance of reaching the World Cup.

The final four places at the World Cup finals from Europe will be decided via four playoffs.

Who has qualified for the playoffs?

Eight nations are into the playoffs, ranked based on the October 2017 FIFA Ranking.

Seeded: Switzerland, Italy, Croatia, Denmark
Unseeded: Northern Ireland, Sweden, Republic of Ireland, Greece

Who can play each other?

Switzerland, Italy, Croatia and Denmark will be the top-ranked teams, and thus seeded. They were also the four runners-up who had the best record in group...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Zlatko Dalic takes over from Ante Cacic as manager of Croatia

Zlatko Dalic during his spell in charge of Al Ain.
Zlatko Dalic managed Al-Ain between 2014 and 2017.

The Croatian Football Association have announced that Zlatko Dalic has replaced Ante Cacic as manager of the Croatia national team.

The news comes after Friday's 1-1 draw with Finland left Croatia second in World Cup qualifying Group I, and in danger of missing out on a playoff position. 

Mario Mandzukic had given Croatia a 57th-minute lead before Pyry Soiri equalised for Finland in the final minute.

In a statement on their official website it was confirmed that the Executive Board of the Croatian...

 By PA Sport

Shakhtar's Darijo Srna tests positive for banned substance

Darijo Srna (L) of Shakhtar controls the ball during the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round first leg soccer match Shakhtar Donetsk vs Young Boys Bern, in Lviv, Ukraine, 26 July 2016.
Darijo Srna says he's taking some time off to look into how he failed a drugs test.

Shakhtar Donetsk captain Darijo Srna has tested positive for a banned substance and will miss next week's Champions League meeting with Manchester City.

The 35-year-old right-back, Croatia's most capped player with 134 appearances, has denied intentionally doping, but has opted to take a break from playing to focus on clearing his name.

Srna said he was notified on Monday by Ukraine's national anti-doping centre (NADCU) that he had failed an out-of competition test in March.

He said in a statement...

Croatia 1-0 Kosovo

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Domagoj Vida scored the only goal as Croatia fended off Kosovo in their World Cup qualifier at the second attempt.

The match resumed on Sunday after torrential rain in Zagreb forced the players off after barely 20 minutes on Saturday night, when the Stadion Maksimir pitch was temporarily waterlogged.

They began at the point play had been abandoned, and minnows Kosovo threatened an upset until Vida secured a 1-0 win by heading home Luka Modric's free-kick in the 74th minute.

Modric curled the ball in...