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A nation with rich footballing history and a reputation for defensive football, Italy are one of the most successful countries of all time – with four World Cup wins to their name, and a single Euros success back in 1968.
Although this is a competition they haven’t been as successful in as the World Cup (they’ve failed to qualify on five occasions) with the current crop all plying their trade across the continent’s top teams, the World No.7 ranked team will be a match for anyone.
Turkey – Rome: Fri, June 11, 8pm
Switzerland – Rome: Wed, June 16, 8pm
Wales – Rome: Sun, June 20, 5pm
HOW THEY QUALIFIED
The Azzurri chalked up a 100 per cent win rate, scoring 37 goals in their 10 games, conceding just four. Finland, Greece and Bosnia were easily swept aside, and they also thrashed an improving Armenia 9-1 too.
Manchester City’s first Premier League-winning boss Roberto Mancini leads his country at Euro 2020. Along with City and Galatasaray, he’s managed three Italian sides – Inter Milan, Lazio and Fiorentina. His best period was between 2005-08, where he won three back-to-back titles with Inter.
Known for his sometimes abrasive manner, with a history of arguments with players and opposing managers, Mancini has a win rate of 55 per cent across his career, which climbs to 67 per cent for Italy.
They have plenty of strength in depth, meaning injuries and suspensions shouldn’t affect Italy as much as others. They played a 4-3-3 formation all the way through the qualifiers, but should have no issue switching to a back three if needed as plenty of their squad used to that formation with their club sides.
Italy have plenty of young stars coming through and should be defensively well set up, with pace and skill on the counter-attack. Mancini seems to favour a centre-back partnership of the veterans Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci. This will mean leaving Inter’s Alessandro Bastoni out of the team. He’s been possibly the best centre-back in Serie A this season and proves the Azzurri coach is not afraid to make difficult decisions with this squad.
Federico Chiesa. The 23-year-old enjoyed a superb debut season for a struggling Juventus side, with 12 goals and eight assists in all competitions. Chiesa has the ability to light up this tournament.
Here’s all the key data on Italy’s squad.
- Squads and statistics correct at time of data sheet creation.
ONE TO WATCH
Nicolo Barella. A driving force in champions Inter’s side this season, he was undoubtedly the best midfielder in Serie A. A box-to-box midfielder with a strong work rate, he has the ability to produce big moments of quality in attack.
It would be a surprise to see Italy finish anywhere other than top of Group A, with all three of their games at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.
An incredibly underrated striker, Immobile will undoubtedly lead the line for Italy this summer. Last season he equalled the record for most goals in a single Serie A campaign with an astonishing 36 for Lazio, along with 19 in 30 league games this term. With the attacking talents of Lorenzo Insigne and Chiesa on either side of him (they have 17 assists between them this campaign), he is sure to get plenty of chances.
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