Italy squad for World Cup Playoff vs. Sweden


Giampiero Ventura has named a 27-man squad for Italy’s two-leg FIFA World Cup Playoff against Sweden.

The Azzurri visit Stockholm for the first leg on November 10 before returning to Italy for November 13’s decider, which will be played at the San Siro.

Italy are one of the most successful teams in the history of the FIFA World Cup, boasting four titles (1934, 1938, 1982, 2006). They have appeared in 18 of 20 World Cups, refusing to enter in 1930 after a failed bid to host the tournament. They’ve only failed to qualify for a World Cup once, back in 1958.

Napoli midfielder Jorginho is the surprise inclusion after having been publicly denied a spot in the national team by Giampiero Ventura, who previously stated he didn’t fit in to Italy’s tactical set-up.

Alongside him is Valencia forward Simeone Zaza, who is set for his first appearance since November 2016. The former West Ham man has been in prolific form in La Liga, scoring nine times from 11 appearances – a number which is only bested by Barcelona’s Lionel Messi.

There’s a return to the international stage for Alessandro Florenzi, who is set for his first appearance for Italy since a World Cup Qualifier against Spain in October 2016.

Andrea Belotti is included despite a slow start to the campaign with Torino, while Italy will once again call upon the services of Lazio man Ciro Immobile, who topped their scoring charts in World Cup Qualifying with six goals from 10 outings.

Italy World Cup Playoff Squad

Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Mattia Perin

Defenders: Davide Astori, Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini, Danilo D’Ambrosio, Matteo Darmian, Daniele Rugani, Leonardo Spinazzola, Davide Zappacosta

Midfielders: Federico Bernardeschi, Antonio Candreva, Daniele De Rossi, Stephan El Shaarawy, Alessandro Florenzi, Roberto Gagliardini, Lorenzo Insigne, Jorginho, Marco Parolo, Marco Verratti

Forwards: Andrea Belotti, Eder, Manolo Gabbiadini, Ciro Immobile, Simeone Zaza


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