Netherlands coach Frank de Boer is very impressed with Roberto Mancini’s Italy, while ‘Marco Verratti and Jorginho are my type of player.’
These are the top two teams in their Nations League group and go head-to-head in Bergamo on Wednesday at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT).
“Playing three games in eight days is a lot. Almost all these players also have to play football at club level and you take that into account,” said the coach in his press conference.
“As a result, competitions do not always go as you hope they will. We didn't play well against the Bosnians, but we did create five good chances.”
Italy dominated the Dutch side in Amsterdam last month, even if the result was ultimately just 1-0, so has De Boer made changes?
“We have trained for two scenarios. The group has to decide which one to use on the pitch. If the first doesn't work, we can quickly switch to Plan B. In any case, you will see something different than in the home game. I am very positive.
“Italy put us under pressure for 70 minutes and I remember that game clearly. They put in a top level performance, we were always late to the ball and didn’t press enough, but this time it’ll be different.
“The group is open, we have four points and Italy have five, so anything can happen.”
De Boer had a very brief and unsuccessful spell on the bench of Serie A side Inter, while he was in the Dutch team that famously lost to Italy in the Euro 2000 semi-final.
“I never think in terms of revenge. Not about the penalty shoot-out in 2000 and not about Inter,” he said.
“I really like this Italy team, as they play with four or five attacking players every time, then Jorginho, Manuel Locatelli or others can hold the ball and control the game. They run a lot upfront, with Ciro Immobile as centre-forward. The way they play now is impressive.
“Verratti and Jorginho are my type of player. They don’t panic when pressed, which is very important at the European level.
“In order to win this game, we have to control the midfield and win the battle there. That was the key for Italy for 70 minutes in Amsterdam.”
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