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European Championship: Chance for Roberto Mancini’s ‘reserves’ to prove worth

Marco Verratti is likely to replace Manuel Locatelli, who scored twice in Italy’s win over Switzerland

Agencies Rome Published 20.06.21, 03:16 AM
Roberto Mancini.

Roberto Mancini. File photo

Italy would like to stay unstoppable in their final group match against Wales at the European Championship on Sunday.

The Azzurri have already advanced to the round of 16, but they are playing with so much spirit and audacity that it’s gotten to the point where it’s become infectious. So even though coach Roberto Mancini is expected to rest several starters from the opening two matches — both 3-0 wins — the reserves are just as anxious to carry out Italy’s free-flowing attacking game.


“There’s a lot of energy and a great atmosphere in this national team, which the coach deserves credit for. He’s really brought in a lot of enthusiasm,” said winger Federico Chiesa, who is expected to replace Lorenzo Insigne on the forward line.

“We have 26 starters and if I’m called upon I’ll make myself ready,” Chiesa said.

Marco Verratti is likely to replace Manuel Locatelli, who scored twice in Italy’s win over Switzerland. Italy need only a draw to guarantee first place in Group A.

Call for support

Beleaguered Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic has asked for support from the Swiss public after days of recriminations following a heavy defeat to Italy in the European Championship.

He made his appeal in an open letter published in the Swiss newspaper Schweiz am Wochenende on Saturday, ahead of his side’s must-win Group A clash against Turkey in Baku on Sunday.

“Tomorrow is a new day. Against Turkey we have another chance to qualify for the round of 16 and we have to bring all of our values and virtues back to the pitch. Then we can do it. We do not always do what you expect from us,” he wrote.

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