Switzerland and Croatia have cemented their spots at next summer's showcase spectacle in Russian Federation following play-off victories over Northern Ireland and Greece respectively, and now it's the turn of Italy and Sweden, with the latter holding a 1-0 lead from the first-leg.
As such, anything other than qualification is nearly certain to result in the sacking of current coach Giampiero Ventura with a number of names being linked to the Azzurri bench.
The Livorno native recently agreed an extension to keep him at the club until 2020, however he has previously reported being interested in coaching the national side, should the opportunity present itself.
Gianluigi Buffon wants to lead Italy to the World Cup next summer (Picture: Getty)When is Italy vs Sweden?More news: Salvation Army offers one more chance to apply for Christmas assistance
Marco Verratti will be suspended for Monday's game with defender Leonardo Bonucci wearing a protective mask after breaking his nose in a bruising first leg against Sweden.
Italy need to win in order to reach Russian Federation, are unbeaten in the San Siro (P42 W31 D11) the 1/2 favourites to triumph in 90 minutes, and 4/5 to qualify. "We invite them to support us, but realise the time has come for us to show them what we ve got", he said. "There are another 90 minutes and we want to make the most of it".
The 39-year-old Buffon, who will earn his 175th cap against Sweden, is targeting a record sixth World Cup in Russian Federation.
Italy, as four-time world champions, have a proud history in this competition and many neutral observers will expect them to progress given the high regard in which the Azzurri is held in the game around the globe. I'd love to play this game.More news: Missouri is taking page from Europe and investigating Google
And captain Andreas Granqvist believes they can cause a big upset on front of over 65,000 Italian fans in the San Siro.
Sweden coach Janne Andersson. "We have nothing to lose and we will go onto the pitch to give a great performance".
"We know that keeping a clean sheet will take us to the World Cup, so that is our intention".More news: Two militants killed in Jammu and Kashmir
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