Italy in search of further consistency. Nicolato: "The Armenia match will be complicated, Kean will play"Following the 3-0 win over Iceland, the Azzurrini will play Armenia tomorrow in Catania at 18:30 CET
Monday, November 18, 2019
Unbeaten in the last four matches (three wins and one draw), and with no goals against following the 3-0 win over Iceland in Ferrara. The Under-21 National Team’s next European Championship qualifier is tomorrow at 18:30 CET at the Stadio Angelo Massimino in Catania against Armenia, less than 24 hours after the two senior teams meet in Palermo.
Two months on from the friendly 4-0 win over Moldova in what was Paolo Nicolato’s debut in the role, the Under-21 National Team are returning to Catania with the aim of moving level with Ireland at the top of Group 1 who have a three-point lead ahead of their match at 21:00 CET tomorrow against Sweden in Dublin. The referee for the Italy vs. Armenia game will be Stephanie Frappart who was in charge of the Women’s World Cup final and the first female referee of a European men’s final, the Supercup between Chelsea and Liverpool.
“I have to say it's a good thing about the appointment, for me the referee is the referee and they have to follow the laws of the game whether they’re a woman or a man,” said Paolo Nicolato to RaiSport. “Tomorrow, I expect it will be a very complicated match against a very lively side in physical times. We faced some slight issues in the match against Iceland and we’ve had two days less to recover than Armenia.”
A month ago in Yerevan, Italy had multiple chances but were unable to build upon the 1-0 lead and almost conceded at the end with the crossbar saving Carnesecchi in goal. “We’re not the only side to have struggled in Armenia, Ireland also won by one goal. At this level, matches are always difficult and all of the sides are well organised and we can’t underestimate this match because it comes at a time when we don’t have a massive squad, we’ve just had a good win and through experience, I know that these matches are the most difficult ones. You need to stay focused and alert and go out to play with maximum humility.”
After missing the Iceland game through suspension after being sent off in Ireland, Moise Kean is available once again. The forward who moved from Juventus to Everton in the summer has been the subject of various transfer rumours and he has one goal in this qualification campaign which came from the spot during the opening match against Luxembourg. “He will play,” said the Coach. “We’ll make some changes while respecting the balance of the team and it’s quite a delicate situation at the moment because of viruses and illnesses, we’ve had lots of issues.”
Monday 18 November
15:30 - Paolo Nicolato’s press conference at the Stadio Angelo Massimino
16:30 - Official training at the Stadio Angelo Massimino (First 15 minutes open to the media)
Tuesday 19 November
10:00 - Training (closed)
11:00 - Exclusive RAI TV interview with Paolo Nicolato
18:30 –ITALY vs. Armenia, followed by the post-match press conference and dinner at the hotel.