Giampiero Ventura is proud to take a “gamble” on senior Italy debutant Alessio Romagnoli against Spain and hopes for Turin luck.
The World Cup qualifier kicks off at the Juventus Stadium in Turin tomorrow at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT).
The Azzurri won 2-0 when these sides met just three months ago for the Euro 2016 Round of 16, but Giorgio Chiellini was on target that day and is suspended for this clash.
“Being in Turin is an emotional thing for me, because I spent a good chunk of my life here,” said the former Torino Coach in a Press conference.
Is it an issue that Ventura never won here in the Turin Derby?
“The important thing to remember is that the home side always won at the Juventus Stadium…”
Chiellini is suspended and Romagnoli of Milan is expected to be given his senior Italy debut from the start.
“What will the line-up be? The usual. If Romagnoli were to play, it would simply be one of the small steps towards the future. He is a young player with great potential.
“If he plays, it’ll be a chance to prove what he can do. I think doubts are a good omen, because when I played Andrea Ranocchia and Leonardo Bonucci at San Siro against Inter (for Bari), people said the same things. It’s a gamble, but I hope an important start.
“I am fortunate to have a group of players with high technical and moral qualities, because we haven’t been able to do much in two and a half days of training, so they made my job easier.”
Spain have a new Coach too, Julen Lopetegui, and Ventura is impressed by his changes.
“I think in recent outings Spain have shown some important tactical progress. I have adapted to Antonio Conte’s system and it is no longer an issue.
“What really depends is the kind of performance we put in, with what determination. Italy-Spain is a World Cup qualifier and it all builds to what we achieve in a year and a half.
“It will be more than important, but not dramatically decisive. We must possibly play to win, then the pitch will say what the result is.
“In fitness terms, 60 per cent is not enough to face this Spain. You cause Spain problems when you are positive, when you read the game and understand their approach.”