Italy euro champs

Italy have made a sound start to their Euro campaign. Can the Azzurri go all the way and lift the title?

is underway and the talk of who’ll win the title is gearing up. entered the competition as favourites to win the Euro and become the champions. The Azzurri have made a statement start at the Euros. They have dispatched Turkey branded as the dark horses 3-0 at the Stadio Olimpico. ’s men top the Group-A currently and are expected to finish there at the end of the group stages. Their stars shone on the opening night and can repeat the heroics of 1968.

 

 

Italy have been a solid outfit in world football after 2018. Failure to qualify for the World Cup in 2018 has affected the nation deeply. They have hit the reset button and started from scratch. The first step was the appointment of ex-Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini. Mancini a product of the famed Coverciano started implementing his philosophy on the national team.

 

 

Italy also comes into the tournament in imperial form. Their star players like Ciro Immobile, Lorenzo Inisgne, and Nicolo Barella have enjoyed impressive seasons with their clubs in the Serie-A. Their squad is also a fine blend of youth and experience. They have home advantage as they play all three of their group stage matches at the Stadio Olimpico. Italy looks finely poised to become Euro 2020 champions.

 

LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL

Italy were shaking off the disappointment of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Euro as they prepared for the 2018 World Cup. Gian Piero Ventura was handed the reins of the National team as Antonio Conte left for Chelsea. Under Ventura, Italy had an abysmal qualifying campaign and failed to make the cut. There was widespread criticism in the country and changes were made. Ventura was sacked and Carlo Tevecchio Italian Football Federation president resigned. Senior players like Gianluigi Buffon announced retirement.

Mancini who left Zenit Saint Petersburg was appointed the head coach six months after the world cup debacle. Mancini was a clear tactician and he masterminded Italy’s resurgence on the world stage. Their first aim was to qualify for Euro 2020 which was done in style with three games remaining. They are well on course now to qualify for the 2022 world cup. Mancini also broke Itlay’s highest consecutive wins record set by the legendary Vitorio Pozzo. His side won 11 games in a row to create history. They are also unbeaten since September 2018.

 

 

Mancini uses a fluent 4-3-3 formation and made Italy a winning machine irrespective of the personnel. He has made the team adapt to his possession philosophy well. Italians have a majority of the possession and attack from wide areas with overlapping full-backs. Leonardo Spinnazolla was exceptional in that role yesterday. This wide approach coupled with a water-tight defence is helping Italy dominate games and walk away with victories. It also makes them a firm favorite at the Euros.

 

A GOOD SELECTION HEADACHE

Mancini will have selection headaches every time he decides to pick a playing eleven. This is a problem he’ll face happily as it signifies the talent in his squad and his squad strength. Most of Italy’s national squad is selected from the Serie-A. The Italian league has been highly competitive this season and has seen an exciting title race.

 

 

Inter Milan who have won the league after 10 years have supplied incredible talents in Nicolo Barella and Andrea Bastoni to the national team. Lazio’s Ciro Immobile is in fine form as ever and Napoli’s Lorenzo Insigne is in blistering form. Wings and midfield are stacked with a mix of experience and talented youngsters. Their defence still has Giorgio Chiellini and Leandro Bonucci two cornerstones of the Azurri in the past decade.

Mancini had to bench Federico Chiesa for Domenico Berardi on the right-wing. The Sassuolo winger impressed on the night and looks to make the starting spot his own. Bastoni was overlooked despite his form for the senior defenders. This explains how strong the Italian starting squad is. The players on the bench would be looking to impress their manager. They will play their heart out in whatever time they may get on the field. This only adds amazing bench strength to an already strong starting eleven.

 

THE FIXTURES

The Azzurri already made a solid start to the tournament. They have two easily negotiable games against Wales and Switzerland. One can expect them to top the group and prepare for a challenging knockout phase.

 

 

If the Gli Azzurri do manage to top the group they meet the runner-ups of Group-C in the round of 16. This might be an easy clash considering one of Austria or Ukraine are likely to finish second in that group. Quarters provides a real challenge as they might go head to head with hot favourites Belgium. The Red Devils enter the tournament as favourites and beating them would be a testimonial for Italy’s credentials. Semis might set up a clash with one of defending champions Portugal, world champions France or old foes Germany.

Italy have all the talent and manager’s brains to become the Euro champions. It’s a matter of how disciplined they’re on the field. They will back themselves to go all the way and lift the title come the 12th of July at Wembley.

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