A series of personnel updates surrounding Roberto Mancini’s Italy squad have come to the fore online on Thursday evening.
Italy have proven one of, if not the standout performers of the European Championships thus far.
The Azzurri were first tasked with navigating their way through a group featuring the talents of Turkey, Wales and Switzerland, the latter of whom sent world champions France packing just days ago.
And to say that Mancini’s men impressed in doing exactly that would be putting it lightly.
Italy rattled off back-to-back 3-0 victories over Turkey and the Swiss to get their campaign underway, before a 2nd-string outfit also got the better of Wales.
— The Athletic UK (@TheAthleticUK) June 20, 2021
A Last-16 showdown with Austria followed, with Franco Foda’s men, to their credit, having provided the red-hot Azzurri with their toughest test in some time.
In the end, though, Italy got the job done once again, securing a quarter-final berth courtesy of an extra-time double from substitutes Federico Chiesa and Matteo Pessina.
Chiellini returns/Chiesa in attack?
Next up for the 4-time world champions? A showdown with the world’s highest-ranked international outfit, Belgium.
In turn, with just 24 hours to go before the most highly anticipated fixture of the Euros’ Last-8 gets underway, Roberto Mancini this evening held his pre-match press conference.
The Italy boss was joined in his media duties by captain and key defender Giorgio Chiellini, who was of course forced to sit out his country’s last two fixtures through injury.
Chiellini, though, provided fans of the Azzurri with a major boost on Thursday, confirming that he is fit and available to face Belgium:
Chiellini could return to partner Bonucci: “I’m happy to be available, today’s training will be a good test. The coach will have many selection doubts in his head, this group has shown him that many players are desperate to play.”#EURO2020 #ITA
— Ben Dinnery (@BenDinnery) July 1, 2021
Elsewhere on the team news front, one significant change is also expected to be forthcoming in Italy’s front-3 tomorrow night.
The switch in question will, according to reports, see Federico Chiesa replace Domenico Berardi from the off, on the back of his goalscoring introduction off the bench versus Austria:
#Italy will train at the Allianz Arena at 17.30 UK time today, and it’s still uncertain if Francesco Acerbi or Giorgio Chiellini will play against Belgium. https://t.co/FdIMK00yZ1#Azzurri #EURO2020 #ITA #BELITA
— footballitalia (@footballitalia) July 1, 2021
Eden Hazard & Kevin De Bruyne absent from Belgium training session ahead of Euro 2020 quarter-final vs Italy
This article was edited by Ben Browning.