Nazionale U21

Italy cross paths with Ireland once again on the road to the Euros

Cork on Tuesday (18:30 CET, live on Rai) will be an important game for the Azzurrini who come off the back of a 7-0 win over San Marino

Monday, November 20, 2023

Italy cross paths with Ireland once again on the road to the Euros

For the third time in a row, Ireland will cross paths with Italy on the road to the Under 21s Euros. On Thursday at 18:30 CET, at Turner’s Cross in Cork (live on Rai 2), the Azzurrini will be defending the top spot in Group A secured momentarily by the 7-0 win over San Marino in Serravalle last Thursday and Ireland’s defeat to Norway the next day/ Head Coach Carmine Nunziata spoke in a press conference on the eve of the match: “We hoped to arrive at this game at the top of the table. We are first and now we have to try to stay there, in a difficult group. However, I think that the result depends on us rather than the others because this is a strong side with a lot of value. Then, there are always other factors but if we play in the way that we know how to, we will have a great opportunity to get a result”.

The stakes will be higher than the match against San Marino: “We need to try to bring the same game on Tuesday, with all due respect to San Marino, against a stronger opponent. Ireland lost in Norway in the final, playing a good game. Especially at home, they are an opposition that comes down on you hard, with one or two quality players. We need to play as a team, with great intensity”. Bove is available after missing out on the match in Serravalle; Turicchia, on the other hand, has suffered an injury to his ankle and will have his condition assessed in the final session: “I will make a few changes”, underlined the coach, who then added “We will see who will play as an attacking midfielder: it could be, on this occasion, a high-quality deeper player of whom I have many to choose from, like Fazzini, Koleosho, and Ambrosini who are all doing well. It’s a shame I can only play 11”.

Aside from Ireland vs. Italy, Tuesday will see Turkiye play Norway: “Every game, for us, is fundamental. We are at the top but there are still 6 games to go. We have already given away 2 points (in Latvia) and we can’t afford tto give away any more: the lads know that we can’t slip up our approach. The conditions will be different, colder and windier, but these things ustn’t become excuses: games should always be done in the best ways and the choices won’t be influenced”.

PREVIOUS GAMES. It is the third time running that Italy faces Ireland on the way to the Under 21 Euros: October 2019 saw a goalless draw, and October 2020 saw a 2-0 win for Italy in Pisa (goals from Sottil and Cutrone) in the 2019-21 period. Then, two Italian victories in the 2021-23 period: a 2-0 win away in November 2021 with goals from Lucca and Cancellieri and a 4-1 win in Ascoli in June 2022 with goals from Rovella, Cambiaghi, Pellegri and Quagliata. The latter game secured the Azzurrini’s qualification to the final round. In total, there have been nine previous games against Ireland, with 6 Azzurrini wins, 2 draws, and only 1 defeat. 

Squad list
Sebastiano Desplanches (Palermo), Jacopo Sassi (Pro Vercelli), Gioele Zacchi (Giana Erminio)
 Tommaso Barbieri (Pisa), Riccardo Calafiori (Bologna), Diego Coppola (Verona), Daniele Ghilardi (Sampdoria), Samuel Giovane (Ascoli), Gabriele Guarino (Empoli), Lorenzo Pirola (Salernitana), Riccardo Turicchia (Juventus), Mattia Zanotti (Sankt Gallen)
Midfielders: Alessandro Bianco (Reggiana), Edoardo Bove (Roma), Cesare Casadei (Leicester), Giovanni Fabbian (Bologna), Jacopo Fazzini (Empoli), Cher Ndour (Paris Saint-Germain), Matteo Prati (Cagliari)
 Giuseppe Ambrosino (Catanzaro), Francesco Pio Esposito (Spezia), Wilfried Gnonto (Leeds United), Luca Koleosho (Burnley), Cristian Volpato (Sassuolo)


Thursday 16 November
San Marino 0-7 Italy
Friday 17 November
18:00 CET: Norway vs. Ireland
Tuesday 21 November

17.45 CET: Turkey vs. Norway
18.30 CET: Ireland vs. Italy (Cork)

Standings (games played):
 ITALY (4) 10, Norway and Ireland (4) 9, Latvia (5) 7, Turkey (4) 3, San Marino (4) 0

Friday 22 March 2024: Italy vs. Latvia
Tuesday 26 March 2024: Italy vs. Turkey
Thursday 5 September 2024: Italy vs. San Marino
Tuesday 10 September 2024: Norway vs. Italy
Tuesday 15 October 2024: Italy vs. Republic of Ireland

The Schedule

Friday 17 November
11:00 CET: training at Stadio Todoli in Cervia (closed)
14:00 CET: player's press conference (Zoom and in person)

Saturday 18 November
15:00 CET: Training at Stadio Macrelli in San Mauro Pascoli (open to the press)

Sunday 19 November
10.30 CET: Chartered flight Bologna-Cork and transfer to Rochestown Park Hotel in Cork
18.30 CET: Training (open to the press)

Monday 20 November
12:00 CET: Nunziata press conference (Zoom and in person)
18.30 CET: training at Turner's Cross Stadium in Cork (first 15' open to the media) 

Tuesday 21 November
18.30 CET: Ireland vs. ITALY ('Turner's Cross Stadium, Cork)

press conference and return to Italy to follow