Sweden vs. Italy 2017 live stream
Sweden vs. Italy 2017 live stream: Time, TV schedule, and how to watch World Cup qualifier online
Neither Sweden nor Italy wanted it to come to this, but here they are as they find themselves squaring off in the World Cup qualifying playoffs in UEFA to duel it out for one of the last few spots in the World Cup available to Europe. The only one will advance, and both teams will hopefully leave everything they have on the field as they fight for a coveted spot in the world’s top competition in the sport.
Both Italy and Sweden were handed tough draws in UEFA qualifying, with Italy paired with Spain, and Sweden with France. Direct qualification was always going to be a difficult ask for either of them because of those draws, so winding up in the playoff isn’t a huge shock. But it also has to be said that neither Sweden nor Italy really lived up to expectations in terms of their quality of play either, leaving both fan bases deeply worried about how they’re going to perform in this do-or-die tie.
More than that, both teams have major stars for whom this is their last shot at a World Cup trip. Italian goalkeeping legend Gianluigi Buffon is retiring after this season, and currently injured megastar Zlatan Ibrahimovic has recently said that at his age he’ll come back to the national team only if they make the World Cup. Both teams will be fighting for their venerable leaders — the question is will they be able to fight enough?
Italy may already be hamstringing themselves in that conversation, with reports that manager Giampaolo Ventura will be leaving talented attacker Lorenzo Insigne on the bench for the first leg of this tie. Arguably the squad’s best creative player based both on form and talent right now, leaving him out of such a crucial match has only served to add to the questions and criticisms already heaped high around the embattled manager. If he does bench Insigne and Italy lose this match because of a lack of creativity in the final third, you can guarantee that fingers will be pointed straight at Ventura’s decision.
The question now is what Sweden will do to take advantage of that decision if it indeed has been made. Both sides like to play a very tactics-oriented brand of football, and with so much riding on this result, it will be fascinating to see just what they pull out for the occasion.
Match info, plus how to watch TV and stream
Match Date/Time: Friday, 2:45 p.m. ET, 8:45 p.m. local
Venue: Friends Arena, Stockholm, Sweden
TV: Fox Sports 1 (U.S. – English), Fox Deportes (U.S. – Spanish), Kanal 5 (Sweden), RAI Uno (Italy)
Online: Fox Soccer Match Pass, Fox Sports Go (U.S.), Eurosport Player (Sweden)
Listings for more countries can be found at LiveSoccerTV.