Saturday November 30 2019
Petkovic: 'Italy Euro 2020 contenders'

Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic believes Italy “are one of the candidates to win” Euro 2020 and the former Lazio boss is relishing a Rome return.

Group A has Italy along with Switzerland, Turkey and Wales, with all the Azzurri’s matches at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.

“I wanted to get Italy in the draw, while the Nazionale were fortunate too, seeing as they were paired with three opponents who will all battle for second place,” Petkovic told Sky Sport Italia.

He is familiar with Italy, having spent some time as the coach of Serie A club Lazio.

“It will be a pleasure for me to return to Italy and above all to Rome. We can’t wait.”

Italy failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, but have been transformed under Mancini, winning all 10 qualifiers for Euro 2020.

“They are one of the candidates to win the trophy,” added Petkovic. “They’ll play three group games at home, but in the knockout rounds, anything is possible.

“I’ve been really impressed with the mentality that Mancini has given to this team. Winning helps to gain confidence and that brings solid results.

“The Azzurri have many new players, much like Switzerland, and we’ll see a lot of promising young faces in the tournament. The main problem is that not many of them are first choice players at club level.”

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