Saturday June 8 2019
Mancini: 'Italy have attacking options'

Roberto Mancini is keeping his options open in attack as Italy visit Greece in tonight’s Euro 2020 qualifier. “The key will be stopping them getting into their rhythm.”

It kicks off in Athens at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT).

The predicted line-ups remain in the air, as the centre-forward in his 4-3-3 formation could be Andrea Belotti, Fabio Quagliarella or even Federico Bernardeschi as a False 9.

“We have many talented strikers, so have to evaluate fitness levels at this time and whoever is in the best shape will play,” Mancini told Rai Sport.

“We tried the False 9 system before and it always went well, so we’ll see over these two games what we decide to do.

“Belotti and Quagliarella are in a way fairly similar and yet also different. They’ve both had very good seasons, Andrea improved a lot towards the end of the campaign and so did Leonardo Pavoletti. We also have Moise Kean, so we’ll see.”

The Azzurri face the two biggest threats in their Euro 2020 qualifying group, with Greece tonight and Bosnia-Herzegovina on Tuesday.

“Greece and Bosnia are very different teams. Greece are technically-gifted and play very good football, so the key will be stopping them getting into their rhythm and playing their way.”

As Gianluigi Buffon has left Paris Saint-Germain, there are reports he could join the Italy staff, perhaps replacing Lele Oriali if he returns to Inter.

“I believe when things are going well, it’s better not to fix something that doesn’t need fixing. I don’t know if Oriali will stay, but I see no reason to change.”

Italy are doing well at the Under-20 World Cup, winning four out of five games to reach the semi-finals.

“They have done really well and reached the semi-final. It’ll be tough, as Ukraine are a very good side, but everyone in the Under-20 side and their coaching staff deserve credit.

“I already worked with Andrea Pinamonti at Inter, although clearly he was much younger, and he has improved a lot. He has great quality.”

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