Mancini: ‘Verratti could play against Turkey’

Roberto Mancini insists the 4-0 win over the Czech Republic was a tougher test than it seemed for Italy, while he hopes Marco Verratti will ‘be able to play against Turkey.’

The final warm-up for Euro 2020 was a 4-0 triumphant friendly at the Stadio Dall’Ara, their eighth consecutive victory with 25 goals scored and zero conceded.

“What I wanted to see was the team pick up straight where we left off, seeing as we hadn’t seen each other for many months, and after about 10 minutes that is what we did,” said the coach in his press conference.

“We put in a very good performance against a Czech side that is by no means to be underestimated. This is a strong squad, with physicality, technique and pace. They drew with Belgium in one of their most recent games and frankly should’ve won, and that’s against one of the best teams in Europe.

“It was a good test for Italy. We played our way out of trouble well, even when they were pressing us with four players.”

The Czech Republic will also take part in Euro 2020, as they are in the same group as England, Croatia and Scotland.

Will this be the line-up we see in the Euro 2020 opener against Turkey on June 11?

“It’s in seven days, but that’s entirely possible, yes. The lads need to stay calm, focused and play their football. There are seven games to win in this competition, so there’s a long way to go.”

The Azzurri have now won eight games in a row, scoring 25 goals and conceding zero, so what more can Mancini ask for?

“There is always room for improvement and this is a young team that has to improve in every area. There were some things tonight that weren’t as impressive and we need to work on them.”

Ciro Immobile started and scored tonight, while Giacomo Raspadori came off the bench for his senior Italy debut, but Andrea Belotti is still trying to find his fitness after a rough few months for Torino.

“We are fortunate to have so many talented strikers and it’s important that we score plenty of goals. All I ask from the forwards is that they do what they do best.

“Federico Chiesa can play on the right or left, it doesn’t change much. Emerson Palmieri came on today because he needed more playing time in his legs, as he hasn’t had much lately.

“Everyone in the team knows they are important. This team has been playing together for a long time know and they know each other very well.

“It is positive that we go into the Euros building on these foundations, playing very attack-minded games and taking the initiative.

“A tournament like this is made up of moments, situations, some strange games, but we know that we are a strong team and feel ready.”

Stefano Sensi pulls out after yet another muscular problem, so Matteo Pessina replaces the Inter man in the Euro 2020 group, but there is good news for PSG star Verratti after a knee issue.

“We still need another test, but yes, I think Sensi will be going home. Lorenzo Pellegrini has recovered already. Verratti has made giant leaps forward and I think he’ll be able to play against Turkey.”

Those who did not play against the Czech Republic will feature in a test match against the Under-20 Italy squad at the Coverciano training ground tomorrow morning.