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Three talking points from final Italy training session

Three talking points from final Italy training session
Three talking points from final Italy training session

Italy had their final training session today ahead of tomorrow’s international friendly against Bosnia and Herzegovina with some rather intriguing talking points from Luciano Spalletti.

It kicks off at the Stadio Castellani in Empoli on Sunday at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT).

This is the last test before the EURO 2024 tournament kicks off against Albania on June 15, followed by matches against Spain and Croatia in the group stage.

The Azzurri were held to a 0-0 draw by Turkey in Bologna on Tuesday evening.

Coach Spalletti put the squad through their paces at the Coverciano training ground this afternoon following a press conference.

He confirmed the move to a three-man defence, but insisted that does not mean the 4-3-2-1 formation has been scrapped altogether, as he is trying to make the Nazionale more unpredictable and versatile.

Calafiori in radical new role

The session saw a rather unusual approach, as it was 12 against 12 on the pitch rather than the standard 11, making any tactical understanding a little tricky.

Only the first 15 minutes were open to the media, so he might’ve been trying to throw some people off their guard.

Notably, Bologna defender Riccardo Calafiori was playing practically as a Number 10 in the advanced role for the ‘Yellow’ team in support of Gianluca Scamacca.

Italy Yellow: Vicario, Darmian, Gatti, Buongiorno, Bellanova, Jorginho, Fagioli, Chiesa, Calafiori, Frattesi, Scamacca

Italy Blue: Donnarumma, Di Lorenzo, Mancini, Bastoni, Dimarco, Cristante, Folorunsho, Raspadori, Pellegrini, Zaccagni, Retegui

Italy urged to communicate

Spalletti continued to tell the players that they should press more, be aggressive and above all communicate with each other on the pitch, praising Torino wing-back Raoul Bellanova for making himself heard.

When so many of these players are coming together for the first time, they need to be able to send and receive clear instructions until the movements become automatic.

Knowing where the ball is going

The coach also had congratulations for Genoa striker Mateo Retegui when nodding in the Federico Dimarco cross at the back post.

Spalletti made it clear that the Italy forwards must know “where the ball is going” and be ready to meet it at the far stick rather than to always congregate in the middle.

This also makes them rather more difficult to mark for defenders.

Italy practicing ball possession and high pressing in tight space (12v12) 🇮🇹 pic.twitter.com/nyoMcQ9hcl