Simone Verdi admits “on paper Italy should be favourites” against Sweden but they’re “a team to approach with caution”.
The Azzurri finished second behind Spain in their World Cup qualifying group, so must go through the play-offs to make it to Russia.
Tuesday’s draw handed them perhaps the toughest possible opponent in the shape of the Swedes, and Verdi isn’t underestimating the Scandinavian nation.
“On paper Italy should be favourites,” the Bologna man acknolwedged, speaking to the club’s official website.
“Sweden are a team to approach with a caution though, they’re not easy to face. We know very well that they’re a very physical side who will be tough to face.”