Italy World Cup play-off squad

Italy named the squad for the World Cup play-off against Sweden, including Napoli midfielder Jorginho, Simone Zaza and Alessandro Florenzi.

The Azzurri can only reach the tournament in Russia next summer via a play-off, having finished runners-up in their group behind Spain.

Giampiero Ventura’s men will begin training at the Coverciano ground on Monday morning, visiting Stockholm for the first leg on Friday November 10 and hosting the decider at San Siro in Milan on Monday November 13.

The big surprise is the inclusion of Jorginho, who Ventura had always left out, insisting he didn’t fit into his tactical vision.

However, overtures from Brazil to the player and his stunning performances for Napoli appear to have finally changed Ventura’s mind.

The 25-year-old already has two caps for Italy, but as they were in friendlies against Spain and Scotland in 2016, he would still be eligible to switch to Brazil.

His inclusion suggests Ventura may well be ready to shelve the 4-2-4 system in favour of the 4-3-3, which is used currently by Napoli, Roma and occasionally Juventus.

Also included is Zaza, who found the net nine times in 11 Liga games this season for Valencia, but hasn’t played for Italy since November 2016.

This is because Andrea Belotti and Ciro Immobile are not 100 per cent fit.

Alessandro Florenzi of Roma returns after rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee twice.

GK: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Gianluigi Donnarumma (Milan), Mattia Perin (Genoa);

D: Davide Astori (Fiorentina), Andrea Barzagli (Juventus), Leonardo Bonucci (Milan), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Danilo D’Ambrosio (Inter), Matteo Darmian (Manchester United), Daniele Rugani (Juventus), Leonardo Spinazzola (Atalanta), Davide Zappacosta (Chelsea);

M: Federico Bernardeschi (Juventus), Antonio Candreva (Inter), Daniele De Rossi (Roma), Stephan El Shaarawy (Roma), Alessandro Florenzi (Roma), Roberto Gagliardini (Inter), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli), Jorge Luiz Frello Jorginho (Napoli), Marco Parolo (Lazio), Marco Verratti (Paris Saint Germain);

F: Andrea Belotti (Torino), Eder Citadin Martins (Inter), Manolo Gabbiadini (Southampton), Ciro Immobile (Lazio), Simone Zaza (Valencia).

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