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Ireland to play France in World Cup play-off

The Republic of Ireland will have to overcome France both home and away in order to qualify for next summer's World Cup after the two teams were paired together in the play-offs which take place next month.

In a further blow to Ireland's qualification chances France will have the advantage of playing the second leg at home in the Stade de France. Giovanni Trapattoni's side will be under pressure to secure a good result in the first leg at Croke Park.

Elsewhere, Portugal will play dark horses Bosnia-Herzegovina, Greece were drawn against Ukraine while Russia take on Slovenia. The first leg of the play-offs will take place on November 14 with the return leg four days later.

14 November: Republic of Ireland v France; Portugal v Bosnia-Herzegovina; Greece v Ukraine; Russia v Slovenia. 18 November: France v Republic of Ireland; Bosnia-Herzegovina v Portugal; Ukraine v Greece; Slovenia v Russia.

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