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Unwanted by Italy, Napoli star Jorginho is waiting for Brazil to call

The FC crew examine an enticing start to the Serie A season, which sees Juventus' stranglehold on Italy threatened.
Craig Burley and Alexis Nunes predict the outcomes of this week's UCL fixtures, headlined by Real Madrid versus Tottenham.

Brazil coach Tite will be attending the Champions League fixture between Manchester City and Napoli on Tuesday, and his major task is clear. He knows all about Pep Guardiola's Selecao stars Gabriel Jesus, Fernandinho and Ederson, but now a new name is about to enter the frame ahead of the World Cup. Napoli midfield star Jorginho has always wanted to represent Italy, and yet he won't refuse an even more lucrative proposition.

"If Brazil call him up, he will accept it," Jorginho's agent, Joao Santos,...

 By Ben Gladwell

Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri: Now is too early to become Italy coach

Massimiliano Allegri has been in charge of Juventus since 2014.

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri says he could consider coaching Italy one day, although he insists his immediate future is with the Bianconeri.

Allegri has been mentioned as a potential successor to Gian Piero Ventura, who has come under fire with Italy struggling in the final stages of World Cup qualifying and facing a playoff to reach Russia.

There have also been reports that Chelsea manager Antonio Conte, who coached Italy from 2014 to 2016, could return, even as early as for next summer's...

ESPN FC  By Dale Johnson

World Cup qualifying playoffs in Europe: All you need to know

With the playoff teams set in Europe, the FC crew assess which unseeded side has the best chance of reaching the World Cup.

The final four places at the World Cup finals from Europe will be decided via four playoffs.

Who has qualified for the playoffs?

Eight nations are into the playoffs, ranked based on the October 2017 FIFA Ranking.

Seeded: Switzerland, Italy, Croatia, Denmark
Unseeded: Northern Ireland, Sweden, Republic of Ireland, Greece

Who can play each other?

Switzerland, Italy, Croatia and Denmark will be the top-ranked teams, and thus seeded. They were also the four runners-up who had the best record in group...

 By Ben Gladwell

Gian Piero Ventura: Italy have taken a step forward ahead of playoffs

Gian Piero Ventura said his players are 'realising we can achieve a lot.'

Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura said his side had bounced back from last month's heavy defeat to Spain after they sealed a place in the World Cup qualification playoffs.

A 1-0 win in Albania on Monday secured their position as one of the four seeded teams, and Ventura said it was a "step forward" for a team whose chance of qualifying directly had vanished with the Spain defeat.

The coach told RAI television: "This was the objectives we had set.

"I think we have taken another small step forward. In...

Antonio Candreva's goal enough to give Italy victory in Albania

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Antonio Candreva's second-half goal at Albania ensured Italy will be seeded in the playoff round of World Cup Qualifying.

Antonio Candreva's second-half strike was enough for Italy to end their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign with a narrow 1-0 victory in Albania.

Italy were already assured of a playoff spot for next summer's tournament in Russia despite their disappointing 1-1 draw against Macedonia on Friday night which saw them fall five points behind Group G winners Spain.

But Candreva's strike at the Loro Borici Stadium in Shkoder ensures the Azzurri will now be seeded for next month's two-legged ties.

Gian Piero...