Saturday September 15 2012
U-21: Mangia respects Sweden

Devis Mangia warns Italy’s Under-21 side they must be wary of Sweden in the European Championship play-offs and his choices “depend on Cesare Prandelli.”

The Azzurrini topped their group and were paired with their Swedish counterparts for the play-offs.

The first leg is on home turf on October 12 with the decider in Scandinavia four days later for who will reach the tournament in Israel in June 2013.

“We have to be wary, as we’ve picked a team who finished top of their group,” said Coach Mangia.

“Everyone said we should hope to avoid Switzerland and Serbia, but I came into this draw with no particular preference.”

There will have to be negotiations between the two Azzurri bosses, as players like Lorenzo Insigne and Mattia De Sciglio are used at both senior and Under-21 level.

“I have to evaluate the general condition of the players. I have a pretty large group to choose from and my decisions will depend on Prandelli’s choices too.”

Mangia has only had three games in charge since replacing Ciro Ferrara over the summer, beating Holland in a friendly and crushing Liechtenstein 7-0.

However, with qualification already secured, they fell to a shock 4-2 home defeat to nine-man Ireland!

“It has been a positive start working with the lads. The most recent game can in some aspects help us to grow.”

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