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      Defending champs are much-changed from Euro 2020

      Group B preview: Italy

      2024/06/08 16:50
      E2

      The defending champions head into these Euros on the back of missing out on a second successive World Cup and the Azzurri are undoubtedly in flux.

      Luciano Spalletti is moulding a very different squad to the one that won the competition three years ago, but there is still quality peppered throughout its ranks.

      The cliché of Italy being the ultimate ‘tournament team’ was coined for a reason and they head to Germany as a serious contender.

      Keep an eye out for Playmaker's definitive guide to the Euros, complete with profiles on all 24 nations competing, in the latest issue of 'The Mighty Delta'


      @Getty /

      Star man

      Nicolo Barella is this Italy side's most capped outfielder and their top scorer with nine goals – which says a lot about the Azzurri's attack ahead of the tournament.

      He’s played in big matches and won big titles, notably losing in the 2022/23 UEFA Champions League final and winning the last Euros.

      He is genuinely world class and can do everything: tackle, run, pass, create, score. Italy need him at his best if they are to have a good tournament.


      Italy's Euro 2024 squad

      PositionNameTeam
      Goalkeeper
      England
      Tottenham
      Goalkeeper
      France
      Paris SG
      Goalkeeper
      Italy
      Napoli
      Defender
      Italy
      Juventus
      Defender
      Italy
      Roma
      Defender
      Italy
      Internazionale
      Defender
      Italy
      Internazionale
      Defender
      Italy
      Torino
      Defender
      Italy
      Internazionale
      Defender
      Italy
      Juventus
      Defender
      Italy
      Bologna
      Defender
      Italy
      Torino
      Defender
      Italy
      Napoli
      Midfielder
      England
      Arsenal
      Midfielder
      Italy
      Roma
      Midfielder
      Italy
      Internazionale
      Midfielder
      Italy
      Juventus
      Midfielder
      Italy
      Hellas Verona
      Midfielder
      Italy
      Internazionale
      Midfielder
      Italy
      Roma
      Forward
      Italy
      Atalanta
      Forward
      Italy
      Lazio
      Forward
      Italy
      Napoli
      Forward
      Italy
      Juventus
      Forward
      Italy
      Genoa
      Forward
      Italy
      Roma
      [G=Games, M=Minutes, GS=Goals Scored, YC=Yellow cards, 2Y=Double Yellows, RC=Red cards]


      @Getty /

      Young gun

      It's tough to name a young gun, particularly as one of Italy's few young players Destiny Udogie is missing the tournament through injury.

      Similarly, Atalanta's 20-year-old defender Giorgio Scalvini looked a hot prospect last season, but he was injured in the lead-up to these Euros and will now miss out.  

      Of those set to actually feature at the tournament, Riccardo Calafiori is the pick of the bunch - he was outstanding at the back last season in Serie A for a Bologna team, which achieved a minor miracle in qualifying for the Champions League.


      Wild card

      With a dozen goals in all competitions since March, Atalanta striker Gianluca Scamacca is currently one of the most in-form players in Europe and he has true wild card credentials.

      Blessed with incredible technique and an imposing physique, the 6 ft 5 inch former West Ham forward could take the tournament by storm.

      Scamacca has a suspect temperament and has struggled to find consistency at the highest level, though... so while he could be magical, he may do nothing!


      Opinion

      There are clear gaps in Italy's squad and there aren't high expectations that they can defend their title. Their biggest issues are in attack where they don't have sufficient depth  or quality despite the presence of Scamacca and  Federico Chiesa.

      In an era where there aren't many strong defences in Europe, Italy do have one of the better backlines and a match-winning goalkeeper in Gianluigi Donnarumma.

      Italy’s biggest weapon is in the dugout, although Luciano Spalletti has not been in the job long. If France, England and Portugal under-perform, and the draw is kind, you never know!


      Preferred formation: 4-3-3


       



      Comments

      Would you like to comment? Just register!!
      motivo:
      2024-06-08 17h44m by l_10_brownfield
      As a football fan, I'm really excited to see how the Azzurri will perform in this year's Euros. There's no denying that losing out on a second successive World Cup has left them in a state of flux, but I have faith in Luciano Spalletti's ability to mould a strong squad. Italy's reputation as a tournament team gives me confidence that they will be a serious contender in Germany. And let's not forget about star man Nicolo Barella
      2024-06-08 17h05m by banderson1976
      As a football fan, I have to say I'm a bit worried about Italy's chances in this year's Euros. Spalletti seems to be rebuilding the squad, but will they have enough quality to compete against the top European teams Nevertheless, Italy always seem to perform well in tournaments, so I'm definitely keeping an eye on them. Excited to read Playmaker's guide to the Euros and learn more about all the participating nations. And let's not forget about star man Nic
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