Published: Mon, November 13, 2017
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Italy Defeat To Sweden 'Incorrect' Says Under-Fire Gian Piero Ventura

Italy Defeat To Sweden 'Incorrect' Says Under-Fire Gian Piero Ventura

If you don't already know, Italy will miss out on a World Cup place for the first time since 1958 if they fail to win against Sweden - another incredibly hard thing to hear on a cold night in November.

The 39-year-old, who has amassed 10 Serie A titles, three Coppa Italias and the 2006 World Cup along with 173 caps for Italy, recently revealed in an interview that, unless the Bianconeri lift the trophy with the big ears at the end of the 2017/18 campaign, he'll bring the curtain down on his remarkable career.

Those fears proved well-founded in the first leg in Stockholm, where Italy went down to a 61st-minute deflected strike from Jakob Johansson.

The pressure is on the Azzuri, who are chasing a 1-0 deficit at the San Siro.

"We're Italy and if we qualify it will be by playing football", coach Gian Piero Ventura insisted ahead his team's crunch FIFA World Cup play-off against Sweden. Some players that did not start in the game like Alessandro Florenzi, Lorenzo Insigne and Federico Bernardreschi may be able to make an impact in Milan if they get into the starting XI. 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.

"We know that keeping a clean sheet will take us to the World Cup, so that is our intention".

"We are not stressed, personally I am focused on the game and I hope fans will support us".

"It is an important game for the history of our national team". Sweden are a solid side and their behavior will make little difference, it all depends on us. "Italy are a great nation that has nearly always played the World Cup".

Marco Verratti will be suspended for Monday's game with defender Leonardo Bonucci wearing a protective mask after breaking his nose in a bruising first leg against Sweden.

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