Italy face crunch Sweden game as World Cup disaster beckons

Italy face crunch Sweden game as World Cup disaster beckons

The Swiss followed up a narrow 1-0 first-leg away against Northern Ireland with a 0-0 draw in Basel on Sunday night, while Croatia played out a 0-0 draw with Greece in Athens, but claimed a 4-1 aggregate win thanks to their thumping first-leg victory in Zagreb.

Sweden, happy to soak up the pressure, are looking comfortable and have the luxury of sitting in as they hold the first-leg advantage.

But an Azzurri performance in Stockholm branded "ugly and confused" leaves Italy with all to play for in tomorrow morning's second leg in Milan as they bid to avoid missing out on the World Cup Finals for the first time since 1958.

Hodgson would like to sign three players in January to help Palace escape their current rut as they prepare relegation battle. "I don't know what sort of game it will be but I hope it will be played in the correct spirit".

Gianluigi Buffon, who has said he will retire from football after the next World Cup, also received plenty of attention prior to kick-off.

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Meanwhile, CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran said the state government would take an appropriate decision on the issue. Besides, the NCP has also not discussed the matter as there was no need to discuss a "non-issue", he told reporters.

"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.

"We must be confident in the return leg, otherwise we have already lost". "The only thing that I would have would be a personal satisfaction, but in the wider scheme of things, I am irrelevant".

Sweden coach Janne Andersson said determination was strong despite Hamburg midfielder Albin Ekdal and defender Johan Larsson absent because of knocks. Sweden are a solid side and their behavior will make little difference, it all depends on us. 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 invite them to support us, but realize the time has come for us to show them what we've got".

"Our strength is the collective".

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