Turkey and Croatia among Kosovo's first World Cup opponents
The road to Russia 2018 began for European teams with 27 World Cup qualifying matches from Sunday to Tuesday. Kosovo will also face Croatia, Turkey, Iceland and Ukraine when they make their debut in the World Cup qualifying competition this year. Croatia host Turkey today in evenly-balanced Group I, where Euro 2016 surprise side Iceland are at Ukraine, and Finland host newcomers Kosovo. Only hosts Russia are assured of qualification, with 13 other places up for grabs between the remaining 53 national associations. Qualifying is therefore going to be far tougher than for the 24-team Euro 2016 in France won by Portugal. Only the nine group winners are guaranteed qualification, with four further teams going through via play-offs.