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Could it be the end of an era for Buffon?

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Sweden and Italy gear up for World Cup playoff clash

Sweden coach Janne Andersson.

Italy will be hoping to avoid missing out on a World Cup for the first time since 1958 when they take on Sweden in the second-leg of their play-off - LIVE on talkSPORT 2.

Sweden played with a high press on home turf, but with a 1-0 lead to protect, will they be more defensive at San Siro?

Coach Ventura is under vast pressure and will nearly certainly lose his job should Italy fail, while some are even expecting him to be sacked regardless of Monday's result, with Carlo Ancelotti waiting in the wings.

Hodgson would like to sign three players in January to help Palace escape their current rut as they prepare relegation battle. They last faced a play-off for World Cup qualification 20 years ago, when they narrowly overcame Russian Federation 1-0 on aggregate.

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"Spain are a better side than Italy, we knew we could have played the play-offs but the first game against Sweden was not a good one". It will be tough for Ventura to find the right words to say to the group.

The Scandinavians, though, have stolen a march on Ventura's men with that vital victory in Solna and the 17/20 (1.85) quote for Sweden to qualify could well provide punters with a path to profit ahead of Monday's match in Milan.

"We analyzed the things that went well and others that did not go so well". Maybe (Wojciech) Szczesny could play a game and me another.

The Azzurri still have undoubted quality in their ranks, with an assured presence in the form of goalkeeping legend Gianluigi Buffon and younger talent such as midfielder Marco Verratti - although the 25-year-old Paris Saint-Germain star is suspended for tonight's game in Stockholm.

The last time the Italians failed to qualify for the World Cup was for the 1958 edition, which ironically was held in Sweden. Italy are meanwhile superstars having won the competition four times - 1934, 1938, 1982 and 2006 - and lost two finals in 1970 and 1994.

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