Italy vs England - a repeat of the Euro final.  But already in the League of Nations


With the departure of Giorgio Chiellini from the Italian national team, his many years of connection in the center of defense with Leonardo Bonucci came to an end. Now, new faces are starting to appear in the positions of central defenders. Roberto Mancini has already managed to try different pairs of centrebacks – Alessandro Bastoni-Gianluca Mancini, Francesco Acerbi-Federico Gatti and Francesco Acerbi-Alessandro Bastoni. But the coach has not yet found a permanent combination. It seems that the last link looks like the best option: Acerbi has a lot of experience and skills in positional defense, and Bastogne is great at being ahead of the curve and good at creating – ideal for the role of a trailing center back. It is curious that without Chiellini, Bonucci has not yet appeared on the field at the base of the national team. Apparently, Mancini still started a full-fledged generational change in the team and gives a chance to prove himself young.

But Italy’s attack is still in crisis. Ciro Immobile, despite a very decent game for the club (he scored 27 goals in Serie A last season), in the national team sags heavily in terms of the quality of the game and loses in performance (for the Euro, the forward did not live up to expectations and disappointed many – he scored only two in six matches ball). In addition to Immobile, almost no one keeps relative stability in performances for the club. Most of their attacking players called up to the national team (except, perhaps, Matteo Politano) do not have much experience of playing for the national team and are unlikely to be ready to enter the field from the first minutes. After all, many of those forwards who were part of Italy at the Euro last year, this time did not even get into the application. Andrea Belotti started the season too poorly, Federico Chiesa and Domenico Berardi are injured, and Federico Bernardeschi left for the MLS and probably already finished with big sport. Plus, this time we will not see Lorenzo Insigne on the field – his wife lost her baby after six months of pregnancy, so the striker is now with his family.

So, I think Mancini will not play with England on a collision course and try to impose his football, but will rely on defense and try to adapt to the opponent as much as possible.


After the defeat in the final of the Euro already mentioned by us, a flurry of criticism fell on England coach Gareth Southgate. Three of the five post-match penalties the coach entrusted to beat young players – Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Sake. None of them realized their attempt, which was the reason for the loss. At that moment, many wondered whether the young stars would break under the crazy pressure of the public? Time has shown – that failure really had a strong impact on their career. Rashford faded away at Manchester United and only started to bounce back at the beginning of this season. Sancho (Markus’s teammate), after leaving Borussia, was never able to regain his former condition. Even under Ten Haag, the situation has not changed dramatically. Only Saki succeeded in painlessly surviving that mistake – in a couple of years he became one of the best in his position in the Premier League and a full-fledged leader of Arsenal.

Therefore, the global game of England is still determined by old faces – Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Kieran Trippier, Harry Maguire and other experienced players. However, when they are in good shape, Southgate has nothing to complain about. The match with Italy will prove it once again.

Source: Sovsport

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Peggy McColl

Mentor l NY Times Bestselling Author. Hi, I'm Peggy McColl, and I'm here to deliver a positive message to you!

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