Being placed as seeded teams doesn’t always bring advantages in drawing, that’s pretty much what is currently experienced by Italian national team.
Gli Azzurri found themselves a tricky drawing for their World Cup 2018 playoffs after being drawn against a quite formidable foe in Sweden.
Although Italy remain the favorite as they are indeed the seeded side, but playing against the Scandinavian outfit won’t be an easy task indeed for Giampiero Ventura’s team, notably since their opponent were putting on strong displays in the group stage.
Competing against France and Netherlands were not an easy tak indeed for Janne Anderson’s men, but they were coping well and force Les Blues to battle until the final group game before securing their direct passage to Russia.
Azzurri’s team manager, Gabriel Oriali admitted that he would’ve like them to be paired with other teams instead, but since everything is done, now all they can do is prepare well for the playoffs.
The Italian side remain confident though with their chances in advancing into Russia, but Oriali stated his hope that they can recover some of their recent absentees such as Andrea Belotti along with Marco Veratti as the four times World Cup winner will be needing all of their players against Sweden.
Complete Drawing for World Cup 2018 European Playoffs:
Sweden v Italy
Nothern Ireland v Switzerland
Croatia v Greece
Denmark v Republic of Ireland