March 17, 2018

Italy face crunch Sweden game as World Cup disaster beckons

13 November 2017, 11:22 | Joan Schultz



The Azzurris suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of the Swedish team and now need to turn around in the 2nd leg at San Siro on Monday.

"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".

Sweden coach Janne Andersson. I'd like to return in the World of football, but I'd only return to Italy or AC Milan. This time around, Italy can not afford such imbalances and poor decisions - they have no more margin for error, especially if their defense allows Sweden to score a tiebreaking away goal.

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.

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Italy has won the World Cup four times - 1934, 1938, 1982 and 2006 - and lost two finals in 1970 and 1994. I don't want to think it's the game of life but I'm convinced that, with the help of the fans, we will do it.

"It is certainly a moment of high tension, considering what is at stake and the sense of responsibility each of us must bear", said Buffon, who will earn his 175th cap in the San Siro. "The only thing that I would have would be a personal satisfaction, but in the wider scheme of things, I am irrelevant". 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 behaviour will make little difference, it all depends on us", he said.

"It's a crucial game for us, for the whole country and for the whole history of our national team as well, ' said Buffon". We invite them to support us, but realise the time has come for us to show them what we've got.

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