EURO 2020 – Group A: Italy
After sensationally missing the World Cup 2018, the one-time-champions of the EURO are back on the big stage. In Group A, Italy will face Turkey at Stadio Olympico in Rome at the opening match, before hosting Switzerland on the 16th and Wales on the 20th.
Italy is considered as the main favourite of the group. It is a refreshed team, formed by Roberto Mancini after his arrival in 2018. The expectations at home are high, as the team is unbeaten since September 2018 (0-1 against Portugal). Of the following 23 matches ever since, they won 19, most recently 8 in a row. In conclusion, Italy aims to again become one of the football giant nations by winning this competition.
ItalyBest EURO result: Winner (1968)
FIFA Ranking: 7
Average age: 27.3
Last 5 games: Northern Ireland (2-0, WC qualifiers), Bulgaria (2-0, WC qualifiers), Lithuania (2-0, WC qualifiers), San Marino (7-0, friendlies), Czech Republic (4-0, friendlies)
Italy EURO 2020 schedule11.06, 8pm: Italy vs Turkey
16.06, 8pm: Italy vs Switzerland
20.06, 5pm: Italy vs Wales
Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Donnarumma (Milan), Alex Meret (Napoli), Salvatore Sirigu (Torino)
Defenders: Francesco Acerbi (Lazio), Alessandro Bastoni (Inter), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Giovanni Di Lorenzo (Napoli), Emerson Palmieri (Chelsea), Alessandro Florenzi (Paris Saint-Germain), Leonardo Spinazzola (Roma), Rafael Toloi (Atalanta)
Midfielders: Nicolo Barella (Inter), Bryan Cristante (Roma), Jorginho (Chelsea), Manuel Locatelli (Sassuolo), Lorenzo Pellegrini (Roma), Matteo Pessina (Atalanta), Marco Verratti (Paris Saint-Germain)
Forwards: Andrea Belotti (Torino), Domenico Berardi (Sassuolo), Federico Bernardeschi (Juventus), Federico Chiesa (Juventus), Ciro Immobile (Lazio), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli), Giacomo Raspadori (Sassuolo).
Formation and Style of play
Historically, Italy is well known for its conservative style of play. However, things have changed under the lead of Roberto Mancini. The former Man City manager has adapted an expansive passing game style and therewith found a way to make the team express their attacking qualities.
Mancini prefers a classic offensive 4-3-3. Chiellini and Bonucci will be the centre back duo. In the midfield, Jorginho will play behind Locatelli and Barella. Marco Verrati fitness issues most probably will initially keep him out of the starting 11. The midfield will attempt to find many ways to pass the ball to the two wingers Chiesa and Insigne. These two wingers are extraordinary in 1 vs 1 situations, and they will most likely not hesitate to accelerate towards the goal if given some space. Moreover, Ciro Immobile will be Italy’s main striker. Immobile has had two fantastic years and managed to put his name up there with the very best attackers in the game.
Midfield: Nicolo Barella
Italy might not have the midfield superstars like they had in the past like Pirlo, Gattuso etc. However, Barella’s playstyle and capabilities are necessary to the way Roberto Mancini wants his team to play. The Serie A champion has a complete package, bringing bundles of creativity, vision, a world-class passing range, and a ball-carrying drive. He is coming after a fantastic season with Inter and the Italians expect a lot from the Italian maestro.
Chiesa finished the Italian Serie A with seven goals and eight assists. Hence, he was one of the main factors for Juve to still qualifying for the Champions League after a poor season. Great pace and irresistible dribbling are some of his main assets, that will serve the Italian team well. Moreover, his playmaking intelligence in the final third of the pitch and creative passing ability could become alongside Immobile or Belotti a fearsome combination. Chisea has made 24 caps for the national team, overtaking his father, who made a total of 22 for the Azzurri.
Some Interesting facts
- -Italy has won four World Cups, but only managed to bring home the golden medal home from the EURO’s once.
- -Italy’s Goalkeeper Guanluigi Donnarumma holds the record for the youngest Goalkeeper to feature in a match with the Italian national team. He was 17 years and 189 days old back then. (1st September 2016, 1–3 vs. France)
- -Italy is the team with the most draws in the EURO history. They drew 16 times so far.
- -Italy’s goalkeeping legend Gianluigi Buffon has 13 caps as a captain in the EURO’s, which is the most appearances in the history of the EURO as a captain.
Expectation and prediction
Italy can play a major role in the competition. The experience that they have in the defence, as well as the quality that they boost up in the front, throws them amongst the main favourites. We believe that Italy have whatever it takes to reach the last 4.
EURO 2020 on TVsportguide
Follow all the action from the EURO’s with our TVsportguide. All matches and information can be found here.