Sweden and Italy gear up for World Cup playoff clash

The Crystal Palace boss was present as Sweden beat Italy 1-0 in World Cup play-off first leg

The Crystal Palace boss was present as Sweden beat Italy 1-0 in World Cup play-off first leg

The Scandinavians, though, have stolen a march on Ventura's men with that vital victory in Solna and the 17/20 (1.85) quote for Sweden to qualify could well provide punters with a path to profit ahead of Monday's match in Milan.

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.

"I maintain the pressure is still all on Italy, as they are a great football nation who haven't missed the World Cup since 1958".

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

Before the 3-0 defeat in Madrid, Italy was unbeaten in 50 World Cup or Euro qualifying games.

Sweden coach Janne Andersson. "We have nothing to lose and we will go onto the pitch to give a great performance".

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Including the loss to Spain and Friday's defeat to Sweden, Italy has scored just 3 goals in 5 qualifying games and now they must score at least one while not conceding in order to stand any chance of making it Russian Federation 2018.

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

The team will be without Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti. Italy are meanwhile superstars having won the competition four times - 1934, 1938, 1982 and 2006 - and lost two finals in 1970 and 1994.

"It is certainly a moment of high tension, considering what is at stake and the sense of responsibility each of us must bear", said 2006 victor Buffon, who will earn his 175th cap in the San Siro.

"It is an important game for the history of our national team". The team has been out of World Cup only twice - in 1930, the first-ever World Cup when they did not enter, and in 1958. Sweden are a solid side and their behavior will make little difference, it all depends on us.

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