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How Italy are expected to line up in EURO 2024 opener

How Italy are expected to line up in EURO 2024 opener
How Italy are expected to line up in EURO 2024 opener

Following the two warm-up friendly matches, Luciano Spalletti’s ideas about how he will set Italy out in the EURO 2024 opener against Albania are becoming clear.

The Azzurri are in an extremely tough group, kicking off on June 15 against Albania, then Spain on June 20 and Croatia on June 24.

They were held to a 0-0 draw by Turkey on Tuesday and then beat Bosnia and Herzegovina 1-0 this evening, meaning Italy are still unbeaten in 2024 under Spalletti.

The coach tried out a 4-2-3-1 formation in the first match, then a 3-4-2-1 in the second, and the latter system seems to be the favourite going forward.

As Spalletti only took over from Roberto Mancini in September 2023, this is the first time he has had more than a few days to work with the squad in training, so the change of tactics had very little time to bed in.

Nonetheless, with so many Serie A sides playing with a three-man defence, it should not be too difficult to get these players able to follow those movements.

Spalletti said in his press conference that he could already give the Italy starting XI to reporters, as he only has “one or two doubts.”

There is one major doubt in the midfield against Albania, as Inter star Nicolò Barella is still nursing a muscular issue, so is likely to be rested for the Spain and Croatia matches.

In his absence, Bryan Cristante or Nicolò Fagioli can step into that role alongside Jorginho.

Giovanni Di Lorenzo is the favourite rather than Matteo Darmian on the right side of a three-man defence, with Andrea Cambiaso and Davide Frattesi impressing enough against Bosnia and Herzegovina to earn those starting spots.

(3-4-2-1): Donnarumma; Di Lorenzo, Buongiorno, Bastoni; Cambiaso, Cristante, Jorginho, Dimarco; Frattesi, Chiesa; Scamacca