Roberto Mancini’s Italy face a huge blow ahead of the World Cup 2022 playoffs as their Euro 2020 winning defense is unlikely to be part of the crucial match due to injuries. The Azzurri conceded only 7 goals during the summer’s Euro Cup, making their solid defense the key to win their second Euros. Follow us for more updates and never before highlights of the Euro 2020 football matches.
However, goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma is by far the only confirmed player from the Euro defense to appear in the match against North Macedonia as Leonardo Bonucci and Leonardo Spinazzola were both sidelined due to injury. Bonucci were out of Juventus‘ 2-0 win over Salernitana as he is still recovering from a calf injury, while Chiellini has just recovered from a similar problem.
“As regards to the midfielders, we are really in a bit of difficulty in the centre,” Mancini said at a news conference on Monday. “We’re missing Jorginho, who wasn’t well, he’d taken a knock to the knee and he wasn’t fit to play in these games so we didn’t risk him. “Bryan Cristante will probably go back home. We’ll wait and see what happens with the Inter lads. We have maybe a bit of difficulty for the centre this time.”
According to local news, Inter‘s Alessandro Bastoni will be one of the starting center-backs, while Roma‘s Gianluca Mancini will take the other spot in center defense. Giovanni Di Lorenzo is also one of the notable absentees in the team due to injury. The European Champions will host North Macedonia at Palermo’s Renzo Barbera Stadium in the play-offs semi-finals.
Italy won the virus-hit European Championship for the first time since 1968 as goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma saved two penalties to end England’s dream of their first-ever Euro. Mancini reiterated their goal to win the World Cup despite the defensive worries. “Our goal is to win the World Cup, and to win the World Cup we have to win these two matches. There’s nothing else to say,” he said.
“I’m confident. I have good players, professionals who from nothing built a victory that nobody believed in beforehand,” he Mancini. “They managed to form themselves into an extraordinary team. We need to build our confidence from that, from what we have accomplished. We don’t have much time to try out new things in training. The basis will be the same as in the Euros.”
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