Soccer: Wednesday 14 October Italy faces Netherlands in Bergamo

The national team coached by Roberto Mancini is ready to leave behind the disappointing performance of last Sunday night against Poland in Gdansk, which ended 0-0, with plenty of room for improvement. Italy took the field with an unprecedented 4-3-3, and Lorenzo Pellegrini as a left winger; a decision that took everybody by surprise and did not pay off in terms of performance. Another player who did not perform at his best, to put it mildly, was Jorginho. Probably it was not his day, and the fact that he was the player with the highest number of missed passes on the field, risking several restarts in the blue DCM, confirms it. As a matter of fact, it was not only Jorginho who played poorly in the midfield: Marco Verratti also made a dull performance. Having just returned from an injury to his left calf, the PSG talented player was unable to influence the game, frequently carrying the ball to the opponent’s area without passing his way through the Polish defensive lines. Undoubtedly, the credit goes to the good defensive organization of the local team, with Kamil Glik leading and giving lessons of old-fashioned soccer to Belotti when he received the ball with his back to goal. However, the offensive players were a disappointment too, especially Juventus new signing player Federico Chiesa, who missed two easy goal opportunities. They need to do much better in order to face Netherlands, also because there will be two giants to deal with: Van Dijk and De Vrij. Mancini will probably aim at Ciro Immobile as central striker, putting Kean on the left, and giving Chiesa yet another chance on the right. As for the midfield, Barella is confirmed, being the only player who never seems to run out of energy, as well as Jorginho. According to the latest reports, Manuel Locatelli (class of ’98 and Sassuolo player) will play as left midfielder after impressing everyone with a great performance during the first leg at Johan Cruijff Arena, always playing the ball in two touches. The Italian defense could be completely changed with respect to the match against Poland, even if it was not really that bad. A chance for D’Ambrosio, Chiellini and Spinazzola, with Bonucci and Donnarumma.

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