Italy finished two points behind Switzerland in their qualifying group, as missed penalties by Jorginho in both of their head-to-head meetings, 0-0 and 1-1 draws, proved costly.
Italy versus North Macedonia semi-final will kick-off at 19h45 GMT. If the European champions manage to win the first leg they will then face the winner of the other match between Turkey and Portugal. The final will be played on the 29th of March.
If Portugal manage to beat turkey it will be a tough game for Italy. Italy seems to be heavily regarded as the one who will come out victorious. Aside from being the current European Champions, they have an experienced team, Portugal has talent as well, but Italy holds the advantage.
The Italians will not allow themselves to fail to qualify for a consecutive time. There is no need to panic yet for Roberto Mancini, but he has a number of things that he needs to resolve before the two legs.
Gravina the president of Italian football federation said “We need to qualify, we have the conditions to do so. We made it difficult for ourselves by missing two very important penalties. But Italy respond in moments of difficulty,”
More details to come after the first leg, #ForzaAzzurri.
Italy squad for world cup playoffs
Goalkeepers: Alessio Cragno (Cagliari), Gianluigi Donnarumma (Paris Saint Germain), Pierluigi Gollini (Tottenham), Salvatore Sirigu (Genoa);
Defenders: Francesco Acerbi (Lazio), Alessandro Bastoni (Inter), Cristiano Biraghi (Fiorentina), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Mattia De Sciglio (Juventus), Emerson Palmieri (Lyon), Alessandro Florenzi (Milan), Luiz Felipe (Lazio), Gianluca Mancini (Roma);
Midfielders: Nicolò Barella (Inter), Bryan Cristante (Roma), Jorginho (Chelsea), Manuel Locatelli (Juventus), Lorenzo Pellegrini (Roma), Matteo Pessina (Atalanta), Stefano Sensi (Sampdoria), Sandro Tonali (Milan), Marco Verratti (Paris Saint Germain);
Strikers: Andrea Belotti (Torino), Domenico Berardi (Sassuolo), Ciro Immobile (Lazio), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli), Joao Pedro (Cagliari), Matteo Politano (Napoli), Giacomo Raspadori (Sassuolo), Gianluca Scamacca (Sassuolo) Mattia Zaccagni (Lazio), Nicolò Zaniolo (Roma).