European champions Italy could face Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal in a winner-takes-all World Cup playoff final in March.
Portugal and Italy, winners of the last two editions of the European Championship, failed to top their World Cup qualifying group, missing out to Serbia and Switzerland respectively.
It means both must enter the new playoff system, featuring 12 teams battling for three places at Qatar 2022, and while both are seeded in the semi-final draw they could be placed into the same path and play each other. The playoff draw is in Zurich, Switzerland on 26 November.
Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal were beaten at home by Serbia in their final group qualifier. Ronaldo, 36, cast a dejected figure after the match.
It means the 12 nations will know their two possible final opponents, and if both Italy and Portugal are drawn into the same path they face the prospect of playing each other - and one will not make it to Qatar 2022.
The only restriction on the draw is that Russia and Ukraine cannot be drawn together for political reasons.