Italy Join the List of High Profile Absentees from the World Cup 2018
Four-time World Cup winners Italy will not be competing in Russia after crashing out in the qualifying playoffs at the hands of Sweden. Gian Piero Ventura’s side had underperformed throughout the qualifying process, dropping points against Macedonia and narrowly scraping past Albania and Israel.
The coach has come under significant pressure to resign following the disappointment but he refused to walk away after the final whistle. Boos emanated from the stands at the San Siro on November 13th as the passionate supporters watched their side toil in the final third and fail to break down a dogged Sweden side who defended incredibly deep but extremely effectively.
Italy have competed in 18 of the 20 stagings of the World Cup and this setback is a bitter pill to swallow for a side who were amongst the favourites for the tournament just a few months ago. Legendary goalkeeper Gigi Buffon was left in tears following the final whistle and swiftly announced his retirement from the International game alongside the vastly experienced Andrea Barzagli and cultured midfielder Daniele De Rossi.
The Azzurri aren’t the only big name to miss out on the tournament, which gets underway in Russia on June 14th. The iconic event is always a huge betting opportunity and boasts millions of viewers worldwide but the Netherlands, USA, and Chile will all be absent from the competition after failing to come through the qualification process. Argentina only just scraped through after winning their final match against Ecuador whilst Croatia and Switzerland were forced to come through nervy play-off encounters against Greece and Northern Ireland respectively.
You can find details of all of the top Canadian bookmakers here at BettingTop10, including 888sport, who make Brazil and Germany joint-favourites for the tournament at 6.00.