The temptation of second place. For a national team that has reversed the technical trend and clichés, gluing over 13 million fans to the TV and revealing itself to football Europe as the standard-bearer of the offensive game, thinking of losing on Sunday against Wales at the Olimpico is impossible. “We also want to win the last game”, Mancini and his team said in chorus after the early qualification for the round of 16 of Euro 2020. But the paradox of the scoreboard remains: finishing second in the group instead of first would be even more convenient, given the intersections .
Italy-Wales, probable formations, timetable and where to see it. Turnover for Mancini, in Toloi and Chiesa
Italy, Locatelli’s tweet
Back in Coverciano during the night, and immediately to work this morning to recover from injuries and fatigue, Mancini’s national team prepares the last match of her group after winning the first two 3-0. «Good morning Italy», Locatelli tweeted, with a simple message of absolute happiness after yesterday’s double.
Locatelli and teased him to Cristiano Ronaldo: the attacker moves the Coca-Cola, but the curtain is all to laugh
But the head is already projected to the after. “We want to reach the final,” the coach repeats with confidence. To do this, it will be necessary to meet the big ones. The intersections of the board propose two paths. The one from before the group includes a stop in London on 26 for the round of 16, and eventually in Monaco for the quarter-finals on 2 July: the opponents would be respectively Ukraine O Austria, and then presumably the Belgium, capable tonight of a comeback on Denmark that had put it in crisis.
In case of second place, same dates but different locations (Amsterdam and Baku). Above all, the opponents would change: first one between Denmark, Finland e Russia, then in case the probability says Netherlands. In short, more affordable opponents and the logistics change little (the national team will always return to Coverciano up to any semi-finals). Finishing second would also lead Italy to the side of the board where the France favorite does not think to go, until the final. The intersection, if anything, would be with Germany O Portugal, among the favorites but not as superior as the Bleus.
Il turn over
“They are nationals later, but in football anything can happen”, the conviction of Mancini, who expects a growth of his national team and above all the return of Verratti, tested in today’s match in Coverciano against a youth from Cremonese. In Florence, the first medical check-up of the day was the one for Chiellini. The muscle problem does not seem serious, the recovery is for the second round: it is not worth risking for him, as in all probability for the PSG midfielder who yesterday did not even go to the bench. Of course, the explosion of Locatelli completely shuffles the cards of the midfield, where also Stretcher he admits the risk of having changed.
On balance, between the need to rest the “owners”, physical problems and assortment of roles, against Wales Italy will have to change its skin, and consistently. Said of Chiellini and Verratti, there is Spinazzola who pulled the brakes against Switzerland so as not to fall back into old muscular problems, Locatelli and Berardi in such good shape seem to preserve, and in the same way risk Jorginho – the only central director left, after Sensi’s forfeit – would be a gamble. If then really Immobile has conquered many positions on Belotti, it is possible that he will also have a little rest ahead of the knockout stage. On balance, the changes could be 6 or 7. At Euro 2016, Conte’s Italy launched towards the second round played in Lille against Ireland, changing half a team and more: result, great competition of the opponents and harmless knockout. An illuminating precedent. But on which Mancini’s Italy, devoted to beautiful football and lightness, does not think in any way to make speculations.
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