Roberto Mancini, Italy coach, assured this Thursday that he expects Belgians Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard, touched, to be able to play this Friday’s quarterfinal match at the Allianz Arena against the ‘azzurro’ team, although he acknowledged that their recovery would complicate the job.
“It seems normal to me that Roberto Martínez hides the cards (about De Bruyne and Hazard), we are talking about an important game. These games are good because they have great players. Belgium is a great team, we are playing well and the fans are going to enjoy it. I hope they all recover, we know they would put us in more trouble, but the good thing about football is that, “Mancini said at the Italy-Belgium press conference the day before.
“Perhaps we will face the best team in Europe together with France, we know it will be difficult but we will try to play our game,” continued the coach.
Italy comes to this meeting after eliminating Austria in extra time in the round of 16 with much suffering, something that, Mancini considered, strengthened his team.
“Each game makes you stronger if you know how to learn the important things. Against Austria we had to suffer more, but we did 26 shots on goal. They were difficult moments, but we won with merit,” said the Italy coach.
“We will play our game, with respect for the team we face, we know its value. We have to play our game. There are no easy games. France lost, Holland lost, Portugal lost, it is not easy for anyone,” he added to recognize the rival’s level.
Duel between Mancini and Roberto Martínez
It will be a duel on the bench between Mancini and the Catalan Roberto Martínez, although the Italian coach played down previous experiences in England, when they trained Manchester City and Wigan, respectively.
“We faced each other many times, sometimes I won, sometimes I lost, sometimes I drew. This is football. They have extraordinary players,” Mancini said. Regarding the eleven, the Italy coach said he has “few doubts” and that he already has “quite clear ideas”.
It is possible that Giorgio Chiellini, who accompanied Mancini at a press conference, will start behind and that Federico Chiesa will replace Domenico Berardi on the left wing.