World Cup Liveblog: Italy v Sweden

Join us for all the build-up, action and post-match comments from Italy’s decisive World Cup play-off with Sweden at San Siro.

A deflected Jakob Johansson shot means the Azzurri must win 1-0 to force extra time or 2-0 to qualify directly to the tournament in Russia.

It kicks off in Milan’s Stadio Giuseppe Meazza at 19.45 GMT.

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Giampiero Ventura was criticised for his choices in Solna and is forced into some changes, as Marco Verratti is suspended and Daniele De Rossi not fully fit.

Sweden welcome back Mikael Lustig from a ban and lose Albin Ekdal to a groin injury, so Johansson is expected to start.

Italy only failed to qualify for one World Cup, losing to Northern Ireland in 1958, but run the genuine risk of an event Federation President Carlo Tavecchio described as “apocalyptic.”

The Azzurri didn’t take part in the first World Cup in 1930 because they did not offer their participation.

San Siro is almost sold out with 74,000 people and the Nazionale hope to maintain their unbeaten record in this stadium, earning 22 victories and four draws with 76 goals scored and 22 conceded.

Sweden have visited this arena three times, losing 3-0 in 1971, 2-0 in 1973 and 1-0 in 1984.

There was a huge choreography in the stands with one Curva all in green, the other all in red and the central stand becomes white to create a massive Tricolore flag.

 

 

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