Humiliation as Italy face World Cup exit

Italy will be in a state of "tension" as they bid to avoid a World Cup exit against Sweden, says goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon in what could be his final competitive international.

Sweden were notably physical in the first leg but only one of their team was booked, with no fresh suspensions being activated for the Milan match, while Italy's Marco Verratti picked up a yellow card that means he will miss out on Monday.

Capello said, "It seemed almost as if we weren't accustomed to an aggressive opponent".

He added: "We want to send Italians a message not with words, but with action on the pitch".

Sweden coach Janne Andersson was well aware that this was just the midway point in the tie.

"It's important for football in our country that we qualify for the World Cup". Buffon who is looking to set a record by playing in his sixth world cup, started in between the sticks as Barzagli, Bonucci and Chiellini played in the central defence. "I don't know what kind of match it will be but I hope there will be better sporting behaviour".

"The problem with Italian football is we are always able to find excuses when things go badly".

In tactical terms, Ventura borrowed the coat that Antonio Conte wore in Euro 2016 and cannot understand why it's not fitting him properly. De Rossi overtook the recently-retired Andrea Pirlo in the all-time appearances list when he earned his 117th cap in the first leg of the play-off in the Swedish capital.

The 2010 World Cup winner, 38, said: "Italy looked like a scared team that was playing for a 0-0 draw". Instead, we keep importing more and more players from abroad.

"We're there now. If we lose we'll make certain considerations and if we win we'll make other ones".

"We're going to stay humble and do everything we can to progress".

"Zaza had a slight problem, but we are not going to despair", Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura told a news conference at the stadium in Solna.

Ventura's eagerness to gather bodies behind the ball rather than unleash the likes of Lorenzo Insigne, a attacking midfielder currently in fine form at Napoli, remains a major source of irritation among Italy followers.

'It's fantastic, ' he said. They would press in such a way that that passing lane to the centre back would be closed and his only option is to disrupt the build up and clear the ball. Ventura, whose future hinges on the outcome, is likely to make further changes to a team who have scored just three goals in five qualifiers.

(Derechos de autor © 2015. Todos los derechos reservados.)
 
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