Saturday October 12 2019
Mancini: 'Italy aim to win Euro 2020'

Roberto Mancini confirmed either Federico Chiesa or Federico Bernardeschi will start against Greece tonight, while advising how to get the best out of Lorenzo Insigne.

Italy’s Euro 2020 qualifier kicks off at the Stadio Olimpico at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT).

It had been suggested that the only real doubt was between Nicolò Barella and Bernardeschi in midfield of a 4-3-3.

However, Mancini told Rai Sport the final choice to be made was between Bernardeschi and Chiesa, which would put them in the trident attack.

“It wouldn’t change much, it’s a tactical issue and whether to have a left-footed player on the field. We’ll see.

“I hope the Olimpico is pretty full and that’s a sign of what we’ll see in the Euros. We have to take the game to Greece, keep improving as a team, that is the objective.”

Insigne has been curiously performing better for Italy lately than at club level with Napoli under Carlo Ancelotti.

“Insigne is a player of great quality. Naturally, if he spends a lot of time and energy tracking back, he loses that sharpness and unpredictability in attack.

“So we want him to keep playing with the team, but also to focus more on going forward. It also depends on his teammates, as if the whole side keeps pushing forward and doesn’t defend too deep, the strikers don’t waste too much energy going back to help.

“We know Insigne can give perhaps more than he does, even when he’s having a great night. When you find a player with that kind of quality, you always expect something more.”

If Italy win tonight, they will achieve Euro 2020 qualification with three games to spare – something that has never happened before – but is also zeroing in on Vittorio Pozzo’s 1938 record of nine consecutive victories.

There could be nine different clubs represented in the starting XI this evening, so is this the end of the traditional ‘blocks’ from big clubs in the Nazionale?

“It is certainly a little more difficult, especially at the start, as if you have three or four players from one team, it’s easier for them to gel. Having said that, we overcame the initial difficulty pretty well.

“We are happy to have given an identity to this team, which plays attacking football and defends relatively well too. We’ve got almost a year to go before the Euros, we need to improve, but the objective is to win. Italy won four World Cups, we have to aim to win.”

Italy (probable): G Donnarumma; D'Ambrosio, Bonucci, Acerbi, Spinazzola; Barella, Jorginho, Verratti; Chiesa, Immobile, Insigne

Greece (probable): Vlachodimos; Bakakis, Retsos, Siovas, Stafylidis; Vrousai, Bouchalakis, Zeca, Kourbelis, Fetfatzidis; Koulouris

Ref: Karasev (GRE)