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Ireland up to 26th in FIFA rankings

The Republic of Ireland have risen eight places to 26th in the FIFA world rankings after beating Moldova and Wales to secure a World Cup play-off.

Northern Ireland have also qualified for the World Cup play-offs, but Michael O’Neill’s side have dropped to 23rd in the latest rankings. However, both teams will be unseeded for tomorrow’s draw in Zurich.

In terms of the other play-off nations, Switzerland have dropped to 11th, and Denmark are up seven places to 19th, while Croatia remain in 18th place. Italy have climbed two places to 15th.

Scotland have climbed 16 places up to 29th, despite failing to qualify for next summer’s tournament in Russia, and England have climbed three places to 12th, leapfrogging Wales who are 14th.

In other news, Shane Duffy has quashed fears over the injury which forced him off during Brighton’s home draw with Everton on Sunday.

“I’m all right, a bit sore at the minute,” Duffy told¬†The Argus.

“I’ll get scanned in the morning and see how it is but it feels not too bad.

“It was my groin. I was running back and I just felt it but hopefully I am not too bad.

“It was like a pop or a shot feeling but it has calmed down now.

“I’ve iced it and had treatment and it feels a little bit better but I’ll see tomorrow.”

“It’s just a little pain in my groin. I probably wanted to stay on but…the manager didn’t want to make it any worse so I just had to come off.”

Martin O’Neill will be hoping that the towering centre half is fit in time for November’s play-offs, with Ireland set to learn their opponents tomorrow.

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