Nazionale U21

Nicolato calls up Okoli, Lucca and Mulattieri for Montenegro clash

Gallo and Piccoli have withdrawn from the U21 squad. First call-ups for Lucca and Mulattieri

Saturday, September 4, 2021

Nicolato calls up Okoli, Lucca and Mulattieri for Montenegro clash

Having beaten Luxembourg in their opening Euro qualifying match, the Under-21 National Team are preparing to face Montenegro, who, yesterday evening, were defeated by a Sweden side that currently sit top of Group F on six points. The match against the Montenegrins will kick off at 17:30 CEST on Tuesday at the Stadio Romeo Menti in Vicenza.

Paolo Nicolato will be without Gallo and Piccoli for the clash: the former has a problem with his right knee, while the Atalanta attacker has sprained his left ankle. In response, the Head Coach has called up three players, who will join up with the squad in Vicenza. They are Cremonese defender Caleb Okoli (he was originally called up but then had to withdraw from the squad on Monday), Pisa striker Lorenzo Lucca and Crotone forward Samuele Mulattieri. The latter two have been named in the U21 squad for the first time.

As regards new faces, Matteo Cancellieri enjoyed a particularly happy afternoon in Empoli yesterday. Indeed, not only did Italy win, the Verona attacker scored his first goal for the Under-21 National Team: “I’m really happy, although the most important thing was getting off on the right foot,” he said today. “We’re still at the beginning and have only been working together for a week; the win against Luxembourg is a point of departure. The Coach is right when he says that we have to improve in all respects, but we’re all here to learn and grow. I’m developing at my club, and I’m grateful to Coach Di Francesco for the faith he’s showing in me. My experience at Verona could be useful in terms of increasing my confidence and knowledge.”

Squad list

Goalkeepers: Marco Carnesecchi (Cremonese), Alessandro Plizzari (Milan), Alessandro Russo (Alessandria);

Defenders: Raoul Bellanova (Girondins de Bordeaux), Riccardo Calafiori (Roma), Andrea Cambiaso (Genoa), Andrea Carboni (Cagliari), Gabriele Ferrarini (Perugia), Matteo Lovato (Atalanta), Caleb Okoli (Cremonese),  Andrea Papetti (Brescia), Lorenzo Pirola (Monza), Iyenoma Destiny Udogie (Udinese);

Midfielders: Marco Brescianini (Monza), Jacopo Da Riva (Spal), Nicolò Fagioli (Juventus), Filippo Ranocchia (Juventus), Samuele Ricci (Empoli), Nicolò Rovella (Genoa), Sandro Tonali (Milan);

Forwards: Matteo Cancellieri (Hellas Verona), Lorenzo Colombo (Spal), Lorenzo Lucca (Pisa), Samuele Mulattieri (Crotone), Eddie Salcedo (Inter), Kelvin Yeboah (Sportklub Sturm Graz).

Schedule (all times CEST)

Saturday 4 September

10.30 - Training (closed)

17.00 – Transfer to Vicenza Tiepolo Hotel

Sunday 5 September

15.30 - Coach Nicolato interview with RAI TV

17.30 - Training (closed)

Monday 6 September

10.30 - Training (closed)

13.45 - Coach Nicolato press conference (RAI in attendance, followed by a Zoom for the press)

19.00 - Visit to Stadio Romeo Menti in Monza

Tuesday 7 September

10.00 - Coach Nicolato interview exclusive to RAI TV

17.30 ITALY vs. MONTENEGRO - Stadio Romeo Menti, Vicenza. Press conference post-game and return of players to their respective clubs