Sunday September 8 2013
U21: Di Biagio changes for Cyprus

Italy lost their first Under-21 European Championship qualifier, so Gigi Di Biagio “will make three or four changes” against Cyprus.

The Azzurrini had taken the lead against Belgium on Thursday evening only to lose 3-1 on home turf. It means the pressure is on to win in Nicosia on Monday.

“Watch out, as Cyprus are a tough side,” warned Coach Di Biagio in his Press conference.

“They only narrowly lost in Belgium, beat Northern Ireland and did not deserve to lose in Serbia. We have to win here, as even if there are seven games to go, the three points are already vital.

“At the same time, we have to find our style of football and to become a team. I am and remain optimistic. We are at the start of a two-year cycle and there are difficulties, but I’m convinced we have a squad that can reach the European Championship.

“After all, three years ago Ciro Ferrara started with difficulties and different players too. In any case, I saw some improvements against Belgium and we knew they were extremely strong, yet we still dominated the first half.”

Cyprus are forced into changes because there are four injuries two players suspended after a 2-1 defeat to Serbia on Friday, but Di Biagio also plans adjustments for Italy’s starting XI.

“It is inevitable to rotate the squad at the start until we find a consolidated side. Decisions depend on how we approach the game, who is in the best shape and various other requirements.

“I will make another three or four changes, but I have clear ideas on what I need. The important thing is that we become a team, as I am happy with the players at my disposal.”

It’s reported Riccardo Improta, Francesco Fedato and Paolo Frascatore could step into the line-up against Cyprus.

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