Mancini desires to ‘convey Italy again the place it belongs’

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17 Nov 2018, 02:30 IST
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MILAN (AP) — A yr after its beautiful elimination by Sweden in a World Cup playoff, Italy is again on the San Siro stadium for one more probably decisive match.

The Azzurri must beat Cristiano Ronaldo-less Portugal on Saturday after which hope the European champion doesn’t defeat Poland three days later as a way to attain the UEFA Nations League finals.

“We wish to advance, and we’ll attempt to, however the No. 1 goal stays qualifying for the European Championship,” coach Roberto Mancini mentioned on Friday.

Portugal leads Group four with an ideal six factors, Italy has 4, and Poland one.

The group winner advances to the Last 4 in June. Poland is already assured of ending final within the group and will probably be relegated to League B.

Mancini was employed after earlier coach Gian Piero Ventura was blamed for Italy’s failed World Cup qualification.

“I see a staff that desires to roll its sleeves up and produce Italy again the place it belongs,” Mancini mentioned. “Let’s be clear, we nonetheless want a while, however we’re on the proper path.”

Defender Giorgio Chiellini is slated to make his 100th look for Italy whereas sporting the captain’s armband.

“I need to rejoice the achievement solely on the finish of the match,” Chiellini mentioned. “First let’s deal with Portugal, attempt to convey residence three factors and supply continuity to the great work completed so far.”

Chiellini retired from the nationwide staff within the aftermath of the loss to Sweden however then modified his thoughts.

“The actual disappointment got here in June when a lot of my membership teammates left for Russia whereas I used to be making ready my suitcases for trip,” Chiellini mentioned.

Fellow defender Alessio Romagnoli left Italy’s squad on Friday with a muscular damage, and Italy can be with out ahead Federico Bernardeschi.

Bernardeschi was a key performer within the 1-Zero win over Poland final month, lining up alongside Lorenzo Insigne and Federico Chiesa.

Unable to make use of the identical lineup, Mancini introduced that Ciro Motionless will seemingly begin at middle ahead.

Italy has had bother scoring.

The final time the Azzurri scored a couple of aim was in Could, a 2-1 win over Saudi Arabia in a pleasant , whereas the final time they achieved the feat in a aggressive match was in June 2017, a 5-Zero victory over Liechtenstein in a World Cup qualifier.

Italy subsequent performs america in a pleasant in Genk, Belgium, on Tuesday.

Mancini introduced Chiellini, Alessandro Florenzi, Jorginho and Insigne can be despatched residence after the Portugal sport and Gianluca Mancini and Moise Kean can be referred to as up from the under-21 aspect.

Mancini and Chiellini each expressed disappointment that Ronaldo, who’s taking a break from the nationwide staff, is not with Portugal.

“It is at all times nice to face one of the best gamers,” Mancini mentioned. “Anyhow, Portugal stays an awesome squad even with out Cristiano.”

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