Published: Mon, November 13, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Italy face crunch Sweden game as World Cup disaster beckons

Italy face crunch Sweden game as World Cup disaster beckons

"The first-leg performance shows that we are perfectly capable of overturning the 1-0 result".

Sweden did not shine at all in the first leg but did manage to get the favorable 1-0 win with a goal by Jakob Johansson off the bench.

Italy are set to face-off against Sweden tonight, in a match which the Italians will have to win by an advantage of at least two goals over their opponents if they are to qualify for the World Cup, due to be held next year in Russian Federation.

Hodgson would like to sign three players in January to help Palace escape their current rut as they prepare relegation battle.

The 39-year-old Buffon - bidding to reach a record sixth World Cup Finals in Russian Federation - is one of the last survivors of Italy's golden generation of 2006 World Cup winners.

"We analysed the things that went well and others that did not go so well".

The Azzurri still have undoubted quality in their ranks, with an assured presence in the form of goalkeeping legend Gianluigi Buffon and younger talent such as midfielder Marco Verratti - although the 25-year-old Paris Saint-Germain star is suspended for tonight's game in Stockholm. "I don't know what sort of game it will be but I hope it will be played in the correct spirit". Italy are meanwhile superstars having won the competition four times - 1934, 1938, 1982 and 2006 - and lost two finals in 1970 and 1994.

"The San Siro doesn't score, I've never seen a fan score", said Pirlo, a member of the 2006 World Cup-winning team who announced last week he was retiring from football.

"It's a crucial game for us, for the whole country and for the whole history of our national team as well, ' said Buffon".

Sweden came in second place in the 1958 World Cup.

He added: "We want to send Italians a message not with words, but with action on the pitch".

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