The Italian National Team (Azzurro), the only world champion who is still not qualified for the World Cup in Russia 2018, begins on Friday at 09:45 p.m. (Cairo Local Time) its important match against Sweden with the weight of history on their backs.
Italy had made poor performances in their last matches while Sweden had exhibited solidity in Friends Arena stadium in Solna, Sweden.
Sweden did not lose in that stadium any official game for 2 years; they are the worst competitor for Italy to secure the ticket to 2018 World Cup.
“We do not even consider the idea of not going to the World Cup,” the Italian captain, Daniele De Rossi said, adding that Azzurro has “a bit of natural fear.”
Italy was second in its group behind Spain also it has faltered in its last games by losing to the Spanish team by 3-0, winning by the minimum to Israel and Bulgaria and tie a goal with Macedonia.
Some results that have put the Italian coach Gian Piero Ventura under pressure. He is willing to change the tactical formation of their last games, 4-2-4, by the 3-5-2 with which Italy won its previous match against Sweden, in the European cup of France 2016.
Simeone Zaza, Valencia`s striker, who scored 9 goals this season for his team, had to rest from Thursday`s training as he felt pain in his left knee. Ventura probably will go for Andrea Belotti to lead the Italian attack.
“Italy is a great power in soccer, but they will be eleven against eleven, their history plays no role,” said the Swedish coach, Janne Andersson.
Expected Line-ups for both teams:
Sweden: (GK) Olsen, (DEF) Krafth, Lindelof, Granqvist, Augustinsson, (MID) Durmaz, Ekdal, Johansson, Forsberg, (ATT) Toivonen, Berg.
Italy: (GK) Buffon, (DEF) Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini, (MID) Candreva, Parolo, De Rossi, Verratti, Darmian, (ATT) Immobile and Belotti.