Tuesday September 6 2016
Bonucci-Verratti to become essential?

Leonardo Bonucci and Marco Verratti could become the Azzurri's most important tactical combo after Israel-Italy.

The 3-1 victory in yesterday evening's World Cup qualifier started showing some of Giampiero Ventura's tactical ideas emerging over the groundwork left by Antonio Conte.

One of the most distinguishing traits was the alternation between central defender Bonucci and midfielder Verratti in the process of building play.

Conscious of the Paris Saint-Germain player's creative skills, Israel started by pressing him heavily from the very outset.

Italy's largely successful response was to bring up Bonucci as an auxiliary playmaker – a role he already played in Euro 2016, but with no midfield playmaker to alternate with.

The tactical interchange between the two was so crucial that the media are speculating it will become the back-bone of Italy's game leading up to Russia 2018.

Assuming the two players reach the tournament in good condition, they will provide La Nazionale with a remarkably strong playmaking foundation.

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