Sunday October 13 2013
U21: 'Different Italy' in Belgium

Under-21 Coach Gigi Di Biagio is confident people will see “a different Italy” against Belgium in tomorrow’s qualifier.

The Azzurrini were beaten 3-1 on home turf by their Belgian counterparts back on September 5, making qualification for the European Under-21 Championship tricky. These teams meet again in Genk on Monday at 19.30 UK time (18.30 GMT).

“We will step on to the field in order to win, as that is the result we need,” said Di Biagio in his Press conference.

“I have good sensations. We worked well during the get-together in Cremona and are in good shape, both physically and psychologically.

“Belgium had a lot more than us in September, but I get the feeling this is now a different Italy. My players have more minutes in their legs and know each other better, though we are still working on becoming a team.

“Soon the ball will be moved around very quickly and smoothly, hopefully already from tomorrow.”

The match is played in Genk, where at least 1,000 Italy fans are expected due to the large number of ex-pats in the city.

“It’s one more reason for us to do well,” continued Di Biagio. “I told the players that the feeling of belonging among those who have left Italy is very strong, as they really love the Nazionale here. I realised that when I used to play for Italy round here and saw 5,000 people at a training session.

“We’ll try not to disappoint them, but that’s not our only motivation, as we want first place in the group and therefore a victory.”

While this will only be Italy’s third game in the group, Belgium have a 100 per cent record after four rounds, but are missing the suspended Monaco starlet Yannick Ferreira-Carrasco.

However, they can count on the siblings of big names such as Jordan Lukaku and Thorgan Hazard, plus top scorer Michy Batshuayi.