We take a look at Italy’s chances to win the tournament in June
Italy are set to face the toughest teams in group E of the UEFA Euro 2016 tournament this summer, going head-to-head with Sweden and the famed Zlatan Ibrahimović, and not forgetting the 2014 World Cup dark horses, Belgium.
Gli Azzurri came top of their qualifying group undefeated, but it’s the next stage which really counts. They’ll have a point to prove after having been knocked out at the group stages of the World Cup two years ago.
Italy’s current squad has a selection of veterans and young up-and-comers. Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has unrivalled experience between the posts and will be leading his team out as captain.
32 year-old Daniele De Rossi plays in the heart of the midfield, providing work rate and experience. 22 year-old Fiorentina midfielder Federico Bernardeschi has proven himself highly adept at club level, but question marks remain on the International stage. With Andrea Pirlo not selected, these two will have to play a much bigger role if Gli Azzurri are to progress.
Upfront, youngsters Stephan El Sharaawy and Lorenzo Insigne provide the pace to force their opponents on the back foot.
English fans will be familiar with both Southampton’s Graziano Pellè and Manchester United’s Matteo Darmian who have made Conte’s 23 man squad.
Only time will tell, and we are never certain of what squad decisions have been made until the night of the match itself. Tune in on Monday 13th June for Italy’s first Group E game against Belgium in Lyon to see how the Azzurri fair. Be sure to grab a bag of our Rich Bolognese Tortelloni to cook at half time!