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Dublin: 18 °C Wednesday 5 August, 2020
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This is what the Italy team to play Ireland could look like as Conte promises to rest players

The Azzurri boss says he intends to ring in the changes for Wednesday’s final Euro 2016 group game in Lille.

This team, which started against Sweden, could be given a rest on Wednesday night.
This team, which started against Sweden, could be given a rest on Wednesday night.
Image: Hassan Ammar

- Ben Blake reports from Versailles

WITH ONE POINT from their opening two matches, Ireland need a win against Italy on Wednesday to prevent an early exit from Euro 2016.

The Azzurri go into the game knowing they’re guaranteed to top Group E thanks to the six points obtained from victories over Belgium and Sweden.

As progression to the knockout stages already is assured, manager Antonio Conte has promised to rest several of his first team regulars and “give time to those who had less of it until now” in the meeting with the Boys in Green in Lille.

So far, the incoming Chelsea boss has started 12 players over two matches with the team playing a 3-5-2 formation built on the solidity of veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon behind a three-man defence made up of his Juventus club mates Andre Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini.

Daniel De Rossi, Emanuele Giaccherini and Marco Parolo are in midfield with Matteo Darmian and Antonio Candreva operating as wing-backs and Eder partnering Graziano Pelle up front.

Manchester United’s Darmian dropped out of the side for Alessandro Florenzi of Roma in their only change for the Sweden win.

Here are the two starting line-ups Italy have gone with so far at the tournament:

Italy team v Belgium: Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; Candreva, Parolo, De Rossi, Giaccherini, Darmian; Eder, Pelle.

 

Italy team v Sweden: Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; Florenzi, Parolo, De Rossi, Giaccherini, Candreva; Eder, Pelle.

However, Buffon (illness) and Candreva (hamstring) both sat out training this morning and the skipper is one of six players one yellow card away from suspension along with Chiellini, Bonucci, De Rossi, Motta and Eder.

This current crop may not be seen as a classic Italian squad, but Conte does have decent talent in reserve.

With that in mind, we take a look at who could potentially come in to face Ireland…

Goalkeeper

Salvatore Sirigu – 29-year-old Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper with 16 caps to his name.

Defenders

Andrea Barzagli – The experienced defender played both games but with Chiellini and Bonucci on yellow cards, he is likely to keep his place.

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Angelo Ogbonna – Capped 11 times, the former Juve man impressed in his first season at West Ham.

Matteo Darmian – A full-back by trade, Darmian can operate at centre-half and could be used on the right side of the trio.

Midfield

Mattia De Sciglio – 23-year-old AC Milan wide man came on as a substitute against Belgium.

Stefano Sturaro – Juve midfielder Sturaro only made his senior international debut in a friendly this month but earned a second cap as a late sub on Friday.

Thiago Motta – The Brazilian-born holding midfielder has bags of experience at the top level, having played for Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Inter Milan and current club PSG.

Alessandro Florenzi – Brought into the team for the meeting with Sweden, Florenzi is likely to remain in it for the clash with Ireland.

Stephan El Shaarawy – A forward by trade but 19-cap El Shaarrawy of Roma is also used on the wing at times.

Forwards

Ciro Immobile – Five goals and four assists in 14 Serie A appearances for Torino last season after making a January move from Sevilla.

Simone Zaza – Juve striker Zaza has played 12 times for the Azzurri – scoring one goal.

The remaining Italy squad members who have yet to play at Euro 2016: Federico Marchetti (Lazio), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli) and Federico Bernardeschi (Fiorentina)

Listen to The42′s Ben Blake on the 98FM Euro 2016 Daily podcast throughout the tournament 

Buffon sits out training as Italy turn their attention to final group clash with Ireland

French newspaper L’Equipe didn’t hold back with their player ratings for Ireland v Belgium

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About the author:

Ben Blake

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