Wednesday June 7 2017
Azzurri can be optimistic

Italy had the balance spot-on in their attacking approach to beat Uruguay, writes Tom Scholes.

Italy defeated a weakened Uruguay 3-0 in a Nice friendly and the 4-2-4 formation continued to give reasons for optimism.

This game welcomed back the Juventus players who missed out on last week’s 8-0 thrashing of San Marino, as Coach Giampiero Ventura’s side again played some good football, particularly out from the back.

In such a formation, attacking play is almost expected. Daniele De Rossi and Claudio Marchisio were the midfield pairing who were tasked with the job of dictating the pace of play, but you would imagine that when Paris Saint-Germain’s Marco Verratti returns from injury, he would be absolutely vital in this team.

It must be remembered that this Italy side was facing a weak Uruguay that were missing Diego Godin at the heart of their defence and their two main goal threats in Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez, but nevertheless this performance has given Azzurri fans reason to be optimistic.

Lorenzo Insigne in particular seemed to flourish in this more attacking style, with the Napoli star key in the first half. He was constantly trying to make things happen and was a huge threat at various points in the game.

Having someone like Andrea Belotti up top gives the midfielders and wingers an outlet in the 18-yard-box, because they know that if they give him enough service, Belotti will tuck away at least one chance – or in this case, force someone else to put the ball into the net for him.

Ventura has Italy playing an attacking brand of football in a potentially risky formation, but with two hard-working wingers, he’s seemingly got the balance spot on. The depth in this squad means that multiple players can come in and out of the starting XI and not look out of place, with Federico Bernardeschi, Manolo Gabbiadini and Alessio Romagnoli immediately coming to mind.

One down side of tonight was seeing Marchisio come off with a muscular problem in his first Nazionale appearance in 18 months, but when Italy face off against Liechtenstein on June 11, Riccardo Montolivo or Lorenzo Pellegrini are expected to deputise, with the former playing over 70 minutes tonight.

In the two games this post-season, they have scored 11 goals and, regardless of the opponent, that is still quite impressive.

The style of football that Ventura seems to be building has great potential and is fun to watch, with Insigne in particular playing an important role. With versatile players in the final third, the formation could rotate between a 4-2-4 and a 4-3-3, which could be just as effective. 

With a vital World Cup qualification match against Spain in September, it is imperative that Ventura builds around this 4-2-4 formation, as it gives Italy the best opportunity to out-score their opponent on top of the usual defensive solidity. 

Keep up to date with the latest news and action from Spain's Primera Division with Football Espana - from the team behind Football Italia.

Have your say...
Funny how playing a full-strength first side in a preferred 4-2-4 formation yields a 1-0 after 50 mins of play against a second string Uruguay side without Suarez and Cavani ONLY after a spectacular own goal, and a 3-0 final score is being hailed as "amazing".

I'm a diehard Azzurri fan, but only a win against Spain in Spain and a top of the group placement will prove that this chump Ventura actually knows what he's doing, instead of being the dunce that he is calling up grandpa Montolivio.
on the 9th June, 2017 at 7:11am
Enjoy the win against 2nd string below average Uruguay Team if any thing that can be counted above 6/10 in Italian football is mangers apart from that no extra ordinary talent coming in Chellini and Verrati injured all the time Belotti not tested on big stage Lorenzo Insigne is good but is he good enough this Italian team is a big disappointment and no ray of hope as well for future
on the 8th June, 2017 at 7:00pm
Meanwhile the chumps and blowhards were attacking Ventura for not being "elite" like Conte. Enjoy your delicious dinner of your own words.
on the 8th June, 2017 at 1:46pm
Ventura, so far, has been excellent. Barring few selection here and there, his team selection is much better than previous coaches. He has been getting result and at the same time integrated youth talent which previous Italian coaches. His team plays good brand of football and also gets the result. Italian team is no more sleep feast in friendlies. In many years, this is the first time I have seen an Italian team that is consistently wining matches. I hope he gets World Cup just as Lippi!!!
on the 8th June, 2017 at 10:52am
11 goals in 2 games with a lot more to come on Sunday. The "old Italy" would have won by much lower scores...
on the 8th June, 2017 at 2:14am

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