The World Cup qualifiers have been completed, so Italy now know who they could potentially face in the play-offs in March 2022.

The Azzurri finished second in their group behind Switzerland, so will need to go through the play-offs next year before knowing if they have a spot at the tournament in Qatar come November.

Italy are in the play-offs along with Wales, Macedonia, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Scotland, Sweden, Turkey and Ukraine, plus Nations League qualifiers Austria and the Czech Republic.

Only three of those 12 teams will make it into the World Cup finals in Qatar.

Among the nations eliminated from the World Cup already are Albania, Bosnia, Norway, Slovenia, Slovakia and Hungary.

The draw for the play-offs is on Friday November 26, splitting them into three paths of four teams each, with a semi-final and a final, both one-off games.

Italy are top seeds in the draw, along with Wales, Portugal, Russia, Scotland and Sweden.

They will be in a semi-final against one of the following teams: Austria, Macedonia, Poland, Czech Republic, Turkey and Ukraine.

Because Italy are seeds, it means they will play the semi-final on home turf.

However, there will be another draw to decide the venue for the final.

18 thought on “World Cup play-offs: Who Italy could face”
  1. Doesn’t matter who Italy face…Lets be real. Any team, conditioned and professionally coached can beat anyone on any give day. My advice for italy..
    1. Get all the injured players back
    2. Experiment with better strikers
    3. Work on penalty kicks….
    4. Forget about the Euro win, think about the WC…it would be extremely humiliating for miss 2 cups in a row…

  2. A potential best line up right now (recently missing in BOLD).





    KEY SUBS – BASTONI, Locatelli, Jorginho, Insigne, Berardi, KEAN

    Then theres the likes of Pessina, SENSI, Tonali

    Immobile opens spaces for the team, score or not he drags defenders out of position and enables pacy attacks from Chiesa / Spina / Barella / Zaniolo when back.

    Bastoni will start soon and can be as good as the old duo maybe better but best to stick with them for such crucial matches.

    Jorginho would be a great sub, but pushing Verratti back as DM and adding Pellegrini in adds more pace and dynamism to the midfield, Pellegrini would even be great as a wingforward and playing Zaniolo/Berardi/Chiesa as a false 9.

    Insigne should be behind Zaniolo now if he can stay fit and continue the levels we know he can play at. Insigne would be a better impact sub.

    Changes need to be made, the Euro line up may not be the one now, lets face it if Zaniolo and Pellegrini were fit the Euro team would have had a different look and even more talented.

    Spina is a massive player for us, we can win without him sure but he adds another level to us.

    Verratti no matter what anyone says is our best midfielder – he played the euros half fit and look at his impact, Barella is getting closer to his level.

    Chiesa is our best player, and Zaniolo in his own style can be just as important.

    We have a team worthy of being world cup winners, now it’s down to Mancini to instil a new motivation into the squad, and open a new chapter with a team that has so much potential.

  3. Worst case scenario: Turkey, then Portugal.

    Best case scenario: North Macedonia, then Wales.

    Turkey are Jekyll & Hyde. Such potential for a nation of 80M but they suck. But once in a while they get the job done.

    Portugal have a super team, a good league full of homegrown players, so many players in other top leagues.

  4. @Marco that is so funny that you posted that lineup because that’s exactly the same one I was going to mention. My only difference would be playing a 4-2-3-1 with Pellegrini behind Immobile as a sort of trequartista

  5. It’s nuts just had the disappointing feeling of Italy not going threw automatically now I got to wait other 4 months for me see if they sneak in the back door in March . We are 4th in the FIFA rankings . We should be beating teams like the Swiss the Irish 3 -4 not drawing . We’re Europe champions we are best in Europe we are top of pile in Europe there should be no excuses .

  6. Italy’s main problem is no great CF.

    Scammaca looks decent but he’s untried, as is his Sassuolo teammate. Immobile and Belotti are good professionals, but not top strikers. Kean looks like another Balotelli/Cassano in the making. So who else will appear before March?

    A false 9 again looks the best option and hope that Chiesa, Zaniolo, or Insigne pull something from the hat.

    Turkey and Poland are probably the worst draw, Austria the best.

  7. Let me add, Turkey haven’t sucked as of late. They’ve been rather good after the German, Stefan Kuntz, took over.

    Şenol Güneş who was their Manager when we faced them at Euro 2020 was well passed his sell date.

    I would’t want to play them right now.

    Italy have 4+ Months to sort things out.

  8. I think we would be better plying teams that open up abit the problem we had is Ireland bulguria and the Swiss just sat deep and flooded there pen area it’s really hard to break that down look how good we played in euros when teams came at us the counter was incredible

  9. Austria played a great pressing game and almost beat us in Euros. Definitely not an easy match. I’d want to avoid.

  10. Can any of you who posted comment on each currently INJURED italian player and discuss if they will be fully healthy for March Playoffs and then the World Cup this summer? Thank you very much! Chrissy from boston.

  11. I’m not sure why he’s hellbent on playing Di Lorenzo and Emerson as our full backs at the moment. First choice right back should be Calabria, hands down. Di Lorenzo should be back up. First choice left back should obviously be Spina, but second choice should be Federico Dimarco.

  12. I’m 100% Italian I speak fluent Italian and English but I live in America , but my heart bleeds Red white and green. First off I hate to jump on the bandwagon but Marco does have it right that’s the lineup I would go with as well. And let’s be realistic Jorghino is not taking our penalty kicks anymore case closed. You Gotta have Kean in the lineup at some point in every game . Hey look let’s not under score of the 37 games without a loss and incredible feat all credit to Mancini and the players. So of course there’s gonna be a let down after that but we have got to make another World Cup I will not yeah go through another world cup without italy if I have to I’ll throw all my energies into the USA I’d hate to do that but it’s only natural I would because I love this country. Let’s go in a lake I want to see the fire in your bellies. Vita Italia !!!! Viva Mancini !!!! FORZA AZZURRI !!!!

  13. perhaps mancini who needs to shake his head and let go of this euro win & world record winning streak! it was obvious that his ego after the euros has gotten worse. i believe the dude mentally disturbed. better for figc to find a replacement immediately before italy’s world cup nightmare continues! mancini has showed that he gets so much excited over a period of winning then helpless when the real ball hits the wall!

  14. Taking a hard look at the real issue behind this Italian team’s inability to score goals…’s the formation. A 4 3 3 formation does not work with the players on hand. Yes it worked in the Euro 2021 but that’s because Spinazzola provided the extra forward punch as did Matteo Pessina during substitution. Mancini is a great coach but he is painfully stubborn and often sticks with his predictable tactics (I would know as a manchester city fan!) and yes I am an azzurri fan too.
    A 4 3 3 formation is for world class players which the azzurri do not posses in all of their positions. A 3 5 2 formation would work better for this squad until we get Spinazzola back and perhaps even bring in a better striker (or use Kean/berrardi more often). Right now, Italy have no real strikers and for once, their defense is suspect without chiellini.
    Sorry to say but Donnarumma in my opinion does not make the cut….too many mistakes.
    My Lineup:


  15. Our biggest issue is a tall dominate forward, Immobile & Belloti are club players at best and just dont do enough to hold the ball or pressure defenders.

    Keane has to play and pray to God we finally get a full compliment of players to choose from. Also think a change of goal keeper wouldn’t hurt!!!!

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