Euro 2020: In-form Italy face stern Switzerland test in second outing

Italy will be aiming for their 10th consecutive win, whereas Wales come into the match after a draw against Wales.

Italian national team training session ahead of their match against Switzerland; Credit: Twitter/@azzurri

After a dominant tournament opener against Turkey, Italy will now take on local rivals Switzerland at the Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday. Switzerland are coming into the match after they were held to a 1-1 draw against Wales at Baku. Roberto Mancini’s side dominated Turkey and netted three times in the second half to secure three points. Italy are unbeaten since September 2018 and are on a 9 game winning streak.

A 10th consecutive victory at Rome will ensure their qualification to the last 16 of Euro 2020 from Group A. Meanwhile Switzerland have won five of their last six games before this Italy game. Vladimir Petkovic’s side will be looking to come out of Rome with at least a point. That will be a more realistic target for them, considering Italy’s superb form. A draw will keep them well in the race for qualification for the next round. Meanwhile Switzerland are capable of upsetting even the best team in the world.

Italy thrashed Turkey 3-0 courtesy of three second half goals in the previous game. Turkish defender Merih Demiral opened the scoring with an unfortunate own goal before Ciro Immobile and Lorenzo Insigne completed the drubbing.

Italy displayed a dominant performance on Friday as they didn’t allow Turkey to register even a single shot on target. Goalkeeper Gialuigi Donnarruma was a mere spectator at the other end.

Switzerland on the other had a very good game against the Dragons but failed to secure three points. After Breel Embolo got the breakthrough, Petkovic’s side went on the back foot and tried to defend. But that strategy backfired and Wales got the equalizer through Kieffer Moore.

PART 1: Wexford Weekly - The Fanzone

Italy and Switzerland TEAM NEWS

Roberto Mancini is unlikely to make too many changes to a settled line-up. Donnarumma will be the number one goalkeeper with Georgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci in front of him. The two central defenders have 209 international caps between them. Italy’s solid defence is yet to concede a goal this year.

Right-back Alessandro Florenzi, who was substituted with a calf injury in the last game is likely to be replaced with Napoli’s Giovani Di Lorenzo. Spinazzola will keep his place at left-back.

Jorgino, Locatelli and Barella will form the three man midfield with Jorginho doing the holding midfielders job. The front three will consist of- Lorenzo Insigne, Ciro Immobile and Berardi.

Mancini could introduce Federico Chiesa for Berardi as the Juventus man is capable of making things happen. PSG midfielder Marco Verratti’s comeback from injury is going to be huge for the Italians. Although he may not be fit to start the game today, he is likely to come off the bench to get some game time.

Switzerland is also unlikely to make any changes to the playing 11 that started against Wales. Their greatest strength is the midfield trio of Granit Xhaka, Remo Freuler and Xherdan Shaqiri. Xhaka’s ability to quickly transform from defence will be key against the Azzurri’s.

Italy plays a high defensive line and their two central defenders Chiellini and Bonucci are 36 and 34-year-old respectively. Therefore Switzerland could hurt them with quick counter-attacks with the likes of young striker Embolo.

Sportslumo Desk

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