Today in Milan and on TV (Rai 1, 8.45 pm) Mancini’s blues try to continue the winning streak. The coach: “To beat them you need more speed”
MILAN. There is the thrust of a sold out San Siro for an Italy that does not want to stop. After the victory of the European Championships last July, the blues of the technical commissioner Roberto Mancini are now aiming for the second title, the Nations League: on the path of Chiellini and his teammates, however, there will still be Spain, as a few months ago at Wembley. But this time there will also be the 37 thousand of the Meazza (still open at 50%), who tonight (20.45, Rai1) will re-embrace Italy almost 3 years after the last time (0-0 against Portugal in the groups of Nations League).
A challenge in which the Azzurri aim to further extend the streak by 37 games without defeat. «Luis Enrique is right, sooner or later we will lose. However, we would like to go on like this until December 2022, but we know that it will not be that simple », Mancini’s words in the press conference on the eve, revealing the desire to do very well also in the next World Cup. «We always want to win and continue to improve the record of 37 consecutive useful results, we know that it will depend a lot on us. But now we have to think that we want to win again to go to the final, also because the Nations League is an important competition ».
It will not be easy, and not only because Luis Enrique’s national team is the one that has most troubled Italy in the last European Championships. «We suffered against Spain in the European Championships, it was a semi-final and it put us in difficulty on possession, they have been doing it for 20 years and on this they are ahead of us. We have to improve this game situation, be faster », Mancini’s comment. «We have to improve, we also have young players who have to play important matches. We have 14 important months and we have to play better and better, offensive and balanced ».
However, the problem remains in attack, considering the absence of Immobile and Belotti. «We have some problems, we miss the two European center forwards who are at home due to physical problems. We have Kean and Raspadori, and then a lot of attacking players. We will see what the best solution will be. Church? I don’t know if he can play the center forward, probably over time he will also be able to do it as happened with Chelsea ». Mancini therefore does not discover the cards, even if the hypothesis Insigne or Bernardeschi in the false nine version in the now classic 4-3-3, with Chiesa and Berardi on the wings remains in the background.
Among the doubts of the Italian coach also Chiellini and Verratti, with Bastoni and Locatelli who could find space from the beginning in the match against Luis Enrique’s Spaniards. “The memory of the match against Spain at the European Championship is still imprinted in our heads and in our hearts, we must remain lucid from the beginning of the match”, the strategy of captain Chiellini. Which then also returns to the insults to Koulibaly in Florence in recent days: «It is unacceptable. We need laws and rules that are applied, this is the most important thing. I was ashamed, as an Italian and a Tuscan, also because Italy is not a racist country for me. Something more must be done, otherwise from the outside we give a bad image of ourselves ».
Italy (4-3-3): Donnarumma, Di Lorenzo, Bonucci, Bastoni, Emerson, Barella, Jorginho, Locatelli, Berardi, Insigne, Chiesa (Meret, Sirigu, Acerbi, Calabria, Chiellini, Dimarco, Cristante, Pellegrini, Verratti, Bernardeschi, Kean, Raspadori). Coach: Mancini.
Spagna (4-3-3): Unai Simon, Azpilicueta, Eric Garcia, Laporte, Marcos Alonso, Rodri, Sergio Busquets, Koke, Sarabia, Ferran Torres, Oyarzabal (De Gea, Sanchez, Reguilon, Pau Torres, Martinez, Pedro Porro , Gavi, Sergi Roberto, Merino, Yeremy, Pablo Fornals, Bryan) All .: Luis Enrique.
Arbitro: Karasev (Rus).