Italy coach Roberto Mancini admitted he was far from thrilled by the prospect of having to play Portugal in a potential World Cup play-off final.
Winners of Euro 2020 just over four months ago, Italy finished second in their qualifying group behind Switzerland and were drawn against North Macedonia in their play-off semi-final in Zurich on Friday.
More importantly, Portugal were drawn in the same pathway, meaning the winners of the two most recent European championships could meet in March in a winner-takes-all showdown with a place at next year's World Cup up for grabs.
Roberto Mancini admitted the reigning European champions wanted to avoid Portugal
Seeded by virtue of being among the best top six of the 10 runner-ups in