Leeds United star Pontus Jansson’s hopes of playing in the World Cup next summer have today been delivered a blow. Sweden qualified for the play offs, but they must now face Italy for a place in Russia.

Sweden finished in second in their group last week, which was enough to give them one of the eight play off places. Due to their FIFA ranking Janne Andersson’s side missed out on being seeded, and ultimately they’ve now been drawn against World Cup heavyweights Italy.

The four times winners of the tournament are the highest ranked country in the play offs, and subsequently Sweden have missed out on a so called easier tie. This will now put question marks over whether Jansson and his international teammates will now be on the plane to Russia next summer.

Under Andersson the Leeds United defender has played more games for Sweden in the past 12 months, although he was ruled out of the last two World Cup qualifiers with injury.

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Jansson’s still isn’t considered to be Andersson’s first choice, but the Elland Road star has tended to get the nod when Andreas Granqvist and Victor Lindelof have been missing.

The 26 year old was part of Sweden’s Euro 2016 squad, but after the tournament he was critical of the coaching staff, after being snubbed throughout the competition.

Since his move to Leeds United last summer his fortunes have changed with the national side, and he’ll desperate to be involved next summer following his disappointments in France.