MX23RW : Sunday, September 26 04:32:36| >> :600:908801:908801:

How Italy could line up against Belgium

How Italy could line up against Belgium
© Reuters
Sports Mole takes an in-depth look at how Italy could line up for Friday's Euro 2020 quarter-final clash with Belgium.

Italy come into their Euro 2020 quarter-final encounter with Belgium celebrating a new national record of 31 games unbeaten, and can count upon the return of a national legend to bolster their ranks.

Veteran captain Giorgio Chiellini has been absent since the group stage win over Switzerland and could only train separately from the rest of the squad last week as he recovered from a thigh injury.

The 36-year-old Juventus defender has since returned to full training at the Azzurri's Coverciano headquarters, though, so is now expected to reform his long-established partnership with club colleague Leonardo Bonucci at the heart of the defence. Lazio's Francesco Acerbi would drop out should Chiellini be deemed fit to start.

Manager Roberto Mancini has been further boosted by full-back Alessandro Florenzi stepping up his comeback from injury and the PSG man could even compete with Giovanni Di Lorenzo for a place on the right side of the Italian back four, as part of their now-customary 4-3-3.

After the intervention of substitutes Federico Chiesa and Matteo Pessina was required to send Italy into the last eight during a narrow extra-time victory over Austria, there has been clamour for the young duo to start.

At Wembley, Juventus winger Chiesa joined his father Enrico in having scored for the Azzurri at a European finals, while Pessina - a late replacement in the squad for Inter's Stefano Sensi - pounced to net his fourth goal in his last four appearances for La Nazionale.

Though PSG midfielder Marco Verratti has confirmed his recovery from an ongoing knee problem and is a certain starter alongside the metronomic Jorginho, it is possible that Nicolo Barella's spot in the engine room could be in jeopardy - particularly with the much-admired Manuel Locatelli also pressing for a place.

Chiesa, meanwhile, is expected to form a major part of the plan to capitalise on Belgium's lack of defensive pace, coming in for Domenico Berardi on the right of central striker Ciro Immobile - Italy's top active scorer, with 15 international goals.

Italy possible starting lineup: Donnarumma; Di Lorenzo, Bonucci, Chiellini, Spinazzola; Barella, Jorginho, Verratti; Chiesa, Immobile, Insigne

> Click here to see how Belgium could line up for Friday's Euro 2020 quarter-final

ID:453223:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:collect4715:

How you voted: Belgium vs Italy

Collect / Create New Data
Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Italy's Domenico Berardi celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on March 25, 2021
Read Next:
Italy Euro 2020 preview - prediction, fixtures, squad, star player
Sports Mole Logo
Enter your email address to subscribe to Sports Mole's free match previews newsletter! Updates are sent twice a week.

rhs 2.0
Todays Game Header Right
Premier League
Scottish Premiership
La Liga
Serie A
Ligue 1
Primeira Liga
Scottish Championship
Turkish Super Lig
Belgian Pro League
Greek Superleague
Swiss Super League
Russian Premier League
Ukrainian Premier League
Norwegian Eliteserien
Swedish Allsvenskan
Danish Superliga
Finnish Veikkausliiga
Belarusian Premier League
Segunda Division
Serie B
Major League Soccer
Copa Diego Maradona
Uruguayan Primera Division
Liga MX
J1 League
International Friendlies
Women's Super League
2Manchester CityMan City64111211113
4Manchester UnitedMan Utd6411135813
6Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton540174312
7West Ham UnitedWest Ham6321138511
8Aston Villa631297210
10Tottenham HotspurSpurs530236-39
12Leicester CityLeicester6213710-37
14Crystal Palace512258-35
16Wolverhampton WanderersWolves510425-33
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle6033714-73
18Leeds UnitedLeeds6033614-83
20Norwich CityNorwich6006216-140

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!