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Swedes and Danes to renew their rivalry in Euro 2016 playoffs

The fixtures are set for the playoffs to get into the 2016 European Championship in France. The match-ups between the eight teams vying for the four final spots all look pretty even. The highlight is a Nordic "derby."

The most interesting clash produced by the draw, held on Sunday in UEFA's headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, was Sweden versus neighbors Denmark. The Swedes, led by superstar striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, will be the slight favorites, although the Danes hold the slight overall edge in their rivalry.

In any case there's no love lost between the the Scandinavians. In 2007, a Euro qualifying match featuring the two was abandoned, and the Swedes awarded a 3-0 victory. A Danish supporter ran on the pitch and attacked referee Herbert Fandel, after the German had given Sweden a late penalty and sent off a Denmark midfelder for punching a Swedish striker.

"We wouldn't have wished for Denmark if we had had a choice," Swedish coach Erik Hamrén told the UEFA homepage. "It was the toughest possible draw."

The other Scandivanian team in the playoffs, Norway, drew Hungary. Again, the historical balance between the two sides is almost even.

"I think we can live with this draw," Mönchengladbach's Norwegian midfielder told the club's homepage. "I'm very confident we'll punch our ticket for the Euro."

UEFA Euro 2016 Qualifikation Irland Deutschland

Ireland will hope their recent upset of Germany is a good omen for the playoffs

Bosnia-Herzegovina will have to face Ireland, who pulled off a surprise win against the world champions to secure their playoff spot.

"We had terrific results against Germany, the draw out in Germany and a home win, and because that's so recent we can draw real confidence from it," Ireland coach Matin O'Neill told the UEFA homepage.

The final pairing pits Ukraine against Slovenia. This, too, is a fixture with some history as the Slovenes prevailed against the Ukrainians in a plyoff for the 2000 European Championships.

"It is a fine draw for us," Ukraine assistant coach Olexandr Zavrarov told UEFA. "It is also important to avoid any underestimation of Slovenia, which was probably the case in the past. Our players have to approach these games with the utmost responsibility."

The home and away legs of the playoffs will be held from November 12 to 17.

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