Granqvist piles pressure on Italy

13 November 2017 03:28:44 EST

Sweden captain Andreas Granqvist expects all the pressure to be on hosts Italy for the second leg of their World Cup qualifying play-off.

The Azzurri were beaten 1-0 in the first leg in Stockholm and need to turn the tie around in the San Siro on Monday evening to avoid missing out on the World Cup finals for the first time since 1958.

We know that keeping a clean sheet will take us to the World Cup.

Andreas Granqvist

And Granqvist has turned up the heat for the crucial showdown in Milan, insisting that it will be Italy who have it all to lose.

He told reporters: "I maintain the pressure is still all on Italy, as they are a great football nation who haven't missed the World Cup since 1958.

"We, on the other hand, have nothing to lose and will put in a strong performance, just as we did in Stockholm.

"We know that keeping a clean sheet will take us to the World Cup, so that is our intention. Obviously, if we score an away goal, we'll have an even better chance of going through.

"The main aim will be to ensure Italy don't create scoring opportunities."

Mikael Lustig and Jakob Johansson, who scored the only goal in the first leg, are expected to earns starts in the San Siro, with Emil Krafth and the injured Albin Ekdal expected to drop out.

Italy, meanwhile, have to plan without suspended midfielder Marco Verratti, with Jorginho, Alessandro Florenzi and Manolo Gabbiadini reported to be in the running for starting spots.

Italy can be backed at 9/2 to claim a 2-0 win in 90 minutes on Monday evening, while they are 4/5 to qualify for the World Cup finals and 18/1 to do so via a penalty shootout.

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