Italy start Ciro Immobile, Andrea Belotti and Marco Verratti in a 3-5-2 formation for the World Cup play-off first leg in Sweden.
WC Play-Off Liveblog: Sweden v Italy
Join us for all the build-up, action and post-match talk as it happens from the World Cup play-off first leg between Sweden and Italy.
Berg: 'Sweden believe in World Cup'
Sweden’s top scorer Marcus Berg believes “we can make it to the World Cup” and praised Coach Janne Andersson ahead of the play-off.
Johnsson: 'Buffon is my idol'
Sweden goalkeeper Karl-Johan Johnsson is excited to meet his “idol” Gigi Buffon in tonight’s World Cup play-off. “We even share the same birthday.”
Buffon: 'Italy continues without me'
Gigi Buffon revealed childhood memories of Italy missing a tournament and laughed off his retirement. “The Nazionale will continue without me!”
Zeman: ‘Immobile isn’t a surprise’
Zdenek Zeman isn’t surprised by Ciro Immobile’s form this season - “with me he scored 28 goals”.
Agent: ‘Insigne could play up-front…’
Lorenzo Insigne’s agent admits 3-5-2 “is not very suited to him” but “I think he could adapt to being the second striker” for Italy.
Inzaghi: How to beat Sweden…
Filippo Inzaghi believes Italy’s “pace on the counterattack” and Ciro Immobile are the keys to overcoming Sweden in the World Cup playoffs.
Di Biagio hails Zeman impact
Italy Under-21s boss Luigi Di Biagio has hailed the ‘incredible’ impact of Pescara boss Zdenek Zeman on the Azzurri’s young players.
‘Italy, don’t give up Insigne!’
Pescara boss Zdenek Zeman has urged Italy not to overlook Napoli attacker Lorenzo Insigne for their World Cup playoff against Sweden.
Probable line-ups: Sweden-Italy
Italy are expected to start Andrea Belotti with Ciro Immobile, while Sweden can rely on Albin Ekdal in the World Cup play-off.
Zaza, El Shaarawy out of Sweden-Italy
Simone Zaza, Stephan El Shaarawy, Danilo D’Ambrosio and Leonardo Spinazzola are officially out of Italy’s World Cup play-off in Sweden.
Khedira v Buffon on VAR
While Gigi Buffon wants VAR in the World Cup play-offs, Juventus teammate Sami Khedira calls it “the death of football.”
Ventura: 'Satisfied with Italy record'
Giampiero Ventura defended his Italy record ahead of their World Cup play-off with Sweden. “I am satisfied with what we did since my arrival.”
Ventura: 'Zaza or Belotti in Sweden'
Giampiero Ventura won’t rule Simone Zaza out of the starting XI against Sweden tomorrow, but Andrea Belotti “is ready to contribute.”
Buffon: 'Italy must reach World Cup'
Gigi Buffon does “not even want to think about the alternative” of Italy reaching the 2018 World Cup and respects Sweden in the play-off.
Sacchi slams Italy tactics
Arrigo Sacchi dislikes the Italy squad set to face Sweden for a place in the World Cup. “Nobody in Serie A uses three at the back.”
Liveblog: Ventura and Buffon conference
Join us for the live coverage of Italy’s pre-World Cup play-off Press conference in Sweden with Giampiero Ventura and captain Gigi Buffon.
U21: Italy beaten by Pescara
Gigi Di Biagio insists the Italy Under-21 side’s defeat to Zdenek Zeman’s Serie B team Pescara was “a good test.”
Hamrin on Zlatan and Insigne
Sweden and Serie A legend Kurt Hamrin insists Zlatan Ibrahimovic was “a weight on their shoulders” and can’t believe Lorenzo Insigne is benched.
Cakir ref for Sweden-Italy
Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir will officiate the first leg of Italy’s World Cup play-off with Sweden in Stockholm tomorrow.
Granqvist: ‘Two finals with Italy’
Sweden Captain Andreas Granqvist believes “the pressure is all on Italy” ahead of tomorrow’s game.
Andersson: ‘Sweden know our team’
Sweden Coach Janne Andersson confirms “I’ve already decided” who will play against Italy tomorrow.
Maggio: ‘Napoli want the Scudetto’
Christian Maggio confirms Napoli are aiming for the Scudetto this season, admitting “there’s no point hiding it”.
Zaza at risk for Sweden
Simone Zaza pulled up with a knee injury in training today, so he’s a major doubt for Italy’s play-off with Sweden.
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