Azzurri aim to avoid errors

09 November 2017 13:56:16 EST

Italy will have a typically stoical attitude in their World Cup play-off with Sweden, according to Roma midfielder Daniele de Rossi.

The Azzurri are on the road on Friday evening as they face Sweden at the Friends Arena in Stockholm, with the second leg taking place at the San Siro on Monday.

De Rossi, seeking to play in a fourth World Cup next summer in Russia, says that avoiding mistakes in both legs will be the key for whoever makes it through to the finals.

Failure would see Italy miss the tournament for the first time since 1958 and de Rossi is not keen on that notion.

Italy beat Sweden 1-0 last summer at Euro 2016 and de Rossi is glad not to be facing Zlatan Ibrahimovic – now retired form international football – this time around.

"I never want to play against him again, not even if he was 40 with a broken leg," he said.

"We are expecting two games in which we cannot afford to make mistakes. The stakes are so high that the idea of shedding blood and sweat is appropriate. We must give everything right to the finish."

Friday's first leg between Sweden and Italy is 5/1 to finish goalless.

The Italians are facing something of a striker crisis, with Ciro Immobile and Andrea Belotti not fully fit, and Simone Zaza aggravating a pre-existing knee injury in training this week.

Six Sweden players are one booking away from missing Monday's second leg and boss Janne Andersson has warned his players not to get themselves suspended.

Italy are 3/10 to qualify for the World Cup Finals, while the Swedes are 5/2.

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