Tuesday October 13 2020
Mancini: 'Immobile against Holland'

Roberto Mancini confirms Ciro Immobile will start against the Netherlands in the Nations League, but he’s not too concerned at difficulty converting chances.

The top two teams in their Nations League group face off in Bergamo on Wednesday at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT).

Tonight’s training session was delayed and performed with social distancing, because Stephan El Shaarawy tested positive for COVID-19.

However, as it was a very low viral load, the chief Italy medic confirmed this could be a ‘false positive.’

“It wasn’t that strange a day, but there is some distraction,” said Mancini in his press conference.

“I’ll decide my line-up after the next round of COVID-19 swabs. I am well aware it has been a busy time for these players and so with three international matches, I try to give them one game each. Tomorrow is Immobile’s turn upfront, Giorgio Chiellini returns and then there will be four or five changes.”

Italy have shown a distinct tendency to waste multiple scoring opportunities in the Nations League, finding the net just twice in three games against Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Netherlands and Poland.

“The important thing for a team is to play good football and create the chances, then you need a bit of luck too in converting them into goals. That is part of football.

“It’s a young squad, we have time to improve and the goals will come in the big games. The last time we played the Nations League, it was just the beginning of our journey together. We’ve grown and must step up even more to reach the Euros in good shape.”

Italy dominated the Netherlands away from home back in September, but only managed to win 1-0 thanks to a Nicolò Barella header.

“We could use a line-up that is similar to the one we saw in Amsterdam, even if we had Nicolò Zaniolo and Lorenzo Insigne then,” continued Mancini.

“Holland are a strong team with young talented players who are getting stronger from game to game. I think it’ll be an entertaining match. I saw their draw against Bosnia, a similar match to the one we had, in that domination possession is not enough with a side that defends with 11 men.

“The Netherlands play sparkling and attacking football. We are doing well too and hope to do even better than last month against them, trying to turn more of those chances into goals.”

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