World Cup play-offs: Northern Ireland can beat Switzerland - O'Neill

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World Cup play-off: O'Neill wants Windsor 'cauldron' against Switzerland

Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill is confident of reaching the World Cup finals despite facing a difficult two-legged play-off against Switzerland.

Switzerland were the top-ranked team in Tuesday's draw and the second leg will be played away from home.

"It was going to be tough whoever we got but we're capable of going through to the finals," said O'Neill, 48.

"Switzerland had a good campaign, but we have a big opportunity to get to Russia."

The first leg will be played at Windsor Park on 9 November with the return game in Basel three days later.

Switzerland won all nine of their World Cup qualifiers before running into Portugal in their final game, when the Euro 2016 champions' 2-0 victory saw them take Group B's top spot.

It was their first defeat in 16 games, although the Republic of Ireland secured a win friendly win against the Swiss last year.

The countries have met five times, with Northern Ireland winning two and losing one.

Speaking before the draw in Zurich, O'Neill said he hoped to draw either Denmark or Switzerland rather than Croatia or Italy, and got his wish.

The Republic of Ireland have been drawn against Denmark, Italy will play Sweden while Croatia will face Greece.

O'Neill added: "We'll be prepared for Belfast. We've only lost one competitive game there in four years.

"The most important thing is not to concede in the first leg as away goals can prove to be vital.

"We know we'll have to be at our best but we believe we're good enough to do that."

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