Ivan Sekretarev The draw took place in St Petersburg this afternoon.
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Ireland to face Wales as O'Neill's side handed favourable 2018 World Cup qualifying draw
It could have been a whole lot worse.

IRELAND HAVE BEEN handed a favourable 2018 World Cup qualifying draw as they were paired alongside Wales and Austria in Group D.

Martin O’Neill’s side will also face Serbia, Moldova and Georgia as they look to qualify for their first World Cup since 2002.

The Boys in Green avoided Europe’s heavyweights as they were drawn with Chris Coleman’s side from Pot One, although Wales recently climbed into the top ten of the Fifa world rankings.

Austria, who Ireland played in the last World Cup qualifying campaign, and Georgia are familiar opponents.

screenshot.1437845180.52454 FIFAWorldCup / Twitter FIFAWorldCup / Twitter / Twitter

The group stages take place between September 2016 and October 2017 with each team playing each other home and away.

The team that finishes top of the group automatically qualifies for Russia with the side that finishes second going into a playoff.

The playoffs will then be played in November 2017.

A pre-season friendly was delayed this afternoon for the most bee-zarre reason

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