Greece to learn its playoff rival

The national soccer team will be eagerly anticipating the outcome of today’s draw for the playoffs that lead to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. The draw is due to take place at 3 p.m. Greek time and will pit Greece against one of the four weaker European zone group runners-up, according to the FIFA rankings. This means Greece will be drawn against one of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Slovenia, Ukraine and Republic of Ireland. Though none of these opponents is considered unbeatable, whoever Greece’s last obstacle is on the way to the finals will still require great caution. The home-and-away playoffs are scheduled for November 14 and 18. Reports yesterday suggested that if Greece makes it to South Africa, coach Otto Rehhagel is considering asking Olympiakos goalkeeper Antonis Nikopolidis to come out of his retirement from international soccer.