Europeo Under 19

Nunziata ahead of the France game: “A difficult game but we’ll give it our all”

The Azzurrini take on Les Bleus tomorrow at the Dac Arena in Dunajskà Streda in their final group game

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Nunziata ahead of the France game: “A difficult game but we’ll give it our all”

After beating Romania and hosts Slovakia in their first two group games, tomorrow, we renew an old rivalry against France. The Azzurrini have already booked their spot in the semi-finals – as well as the Under-20 World Cup in Indonesia next year – but tomorrow’s game is still a must-win if we’re to finish top of their group. Finishing top would mean that Nunziata’s boys avoid facing England, who are top of Group B and play second-place Israel tomorrow.

Nunziata will need to deal with a less-than-ideal disciplinary situation: Juventus fullback and regular Italy U19 starter Gabriele Mulazzi will miss out tomorrow after picking up bookings in both of the first two games. Four other players, meanwhile, are at risk of suspension; Faticanti, Nasti, Ghilardi and Casadei have all been booked and would miss out on the semi-final, should they receive a yellow card tomorrow. The Azzurrini’s coach, however, is ready and equipped to deal with it. “We’ll make a few changes,” Nunziata said, “which are necessary not only to avoid suspensions but also to rotate the squad and rest some players. But our system will not change, nor will our desire to finish top of the group.”

In their two previous matches, France thrashed Slovakia 5-0 before beating Romania 2-1, putting on full display the quality that sets them apart from Italy’s other opponents in the competition thus far. They have conceded just one and scored seven, six of which have been scored by their attacking trio: two apiece for Loum Tchauona (Rennes) and Alan Virginius (Sochaux), while one goal has gone to Parma’s Ange Yoan Bonny, who has made 13 appearances in Serie B.

Tommaso Baldanzi, who scored a splendid opener for Italy against Romania, had his say on tomorrow’s game: “France are our last opponents in the group and it’s important that we play well and finish top. We know that they’re a good side but we’ll try to impose our own game – keeping the ball on the ground and moving it around with tempo – and beat them.”

In the other group, England are already through the semi-finals after wins against Austria (2-0) and Serbia (4-0) and currently sit top of Group B on six points. Tomorrow, the Young Lions will take on Israel, who are second on four points following a draw on matchday one with Serbia (2-2) and victory over Austria (4-2). The two sides will face off tomorrow, with top spot still up for grabs. There could be a surprise or two in store.


Squad list

Goalkeepers: Sebastiano Desplanches (Milan), Gioele Zacchi (Sassuolo);

Defenders: Diego Coppola (Hellas Verona), Alessandro Fontanarosa (Inter), Daniele Ghilardi (Hellas Verona, Gabriele Mulazzi (Juventus), Riccardo Stivanello (Bologna), Filippo Terracciano (Hellas Verona), Riccardo Turicchia (Juventus);

Midfielders: Cesare Casadei (Inter), Duccio Degli Innocenti (Empoli), Giovanni Fabbian (Inter), Giacomo Faticanti (Roma), Jacopo Fazzini (Empoli), Samuel Giovane (Atalanta), Fabio Miretti (Juventus);

Attackers: Giuseppe Ambrosino Di Bruttopilo (Napoli), Tommaso Baldanzi (Empoli), Marco Nasti (Milan), Cristian Volpato (Roma).