The National U21s returned to training this afternoon in Yerevan ahead of Monday night’s encounter with hosts Armenia, which kicks off at 18:30 CEST. Held to a goalless draw against Ireland, the Azzurrini will be on the hunt for their second win in qualifying after they opened their campaign with a 5-0 win over Luxembourg. They will find themselves up against a side galvanised by their first success in the group yesterday against Luxembourg, with a 2-0 win thanks to second-half goals from Mkrtchyan and Daniielian. Italy will be without Tonali after he was called up to the senior side and the suspended Kean, while Paolo Nicolato has called up Pescara defender Davide Bettella after losing Marchizza to injury.
Claud Adjapong spoke from the training camp in Yerevan, with the defender on loan to Hellas Verona having put in a good performance after replacing the injured Marchizza in Dublin: “I was thrown on without even having warmed up because Riccardo’s injury was so sudden. It was a complicated game, we’re not happy with the draw, but all in all we’ll take the point from a match like that. We knew that Ireland were a tough team who have been working together for a long time, while we’re just at the beginning. We encountered some difficulties, but it’s normal because we haven’t been playing together for long. We’ve looked at where we went wrong and we know where we can improve, we’ll definitely try to put what we’ve been working on into practice on Monday.”
Having been sent out on loan from Sassuolo to Verona this summer, the defender will hope that his performances for the Under-21s can help him to get more minutes for his club side: “In this sense the Under-21s can help me to prove my quality, I have to give my all here to earn a spot in Verona’s side. We’re forming a great group here in the National Team, we’re starting to get to know each other, to understand each other both as players and as people: I’m sure that the results will come.” Monday will bring an opportunity to move closer to Ireland who sit top of the table on ten points, having played two games more than the Azzurrini: “We know that Ireland are ahead of us, even if we do have games in hand. Bringing home the three points would allow us to move up to seven points which would be a big step. We had already secured qualification for the European Championship finals at this point two years ago, this year we know that every game is vital and we have to give our all in every single match.”
Goalkeepers: Marco Carnesecchi (Trapani), Mattia Del Favero (Piacenza), Alessandro Plizzari (Livorno);
Defenders: Claud Adjapong (Verona), Alessandro Bastoni (Inter), Raoul Bellanova (Bordeaux), Enrico Delprato (Livorno), Matteo Gabbia (Milan), Luca Pellegrini (Cagliari), Luca Ranieri (Fiorentina), Marco Sala (Virtus Entella);
Midfielders: Marco Carraro (Perugia), Davide Frattesi (Empoli), Manuel Locatelli (Sassuolo), Giulio Maggiore (Spezia), Fabio Maistro (Salernitana), Niccolò Zanellato (Crotone);
Forwards: Patrick Cutrone (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Andrea Pinamonti (Genoa), Gianluca Scamacca (Ascoli), Riccardo Sottil (Fiorentina).
Staff – Head Coach: Paolo Nicolato; Delegation Head: Massimo Paganin; Accompanying Director: Vincenzo Marinelli; Youth Co-ordinator: Maurizio Viscidi; Assistant Coach: Mirco Gasparetto; Secretary: Manfredi Martino; Fitness Coach: Vincenzo Pincolini; Goalkeeping Coach: Gian Matteo Mareggini; Match analyst: Francesco Bordin; Doctors: Angelo De Carli and Vincenzo Santoriello; Physiologist: Cristian Osgnach; Physiotherapists: Emiliano Bozzetti and Nicola Sanna; Osteopath: Cristiano Pompili.
Saturday 12 October 2019
13:15 – Press conference with one player at the RADISSON BLUE YEREVAN
18:00 – Training (open to the press for the first 15 minutes)
Sunday 13 October 2019
13:30 – Press conference with Head Coach Nicolato at the RADISSON BLUE YEREVAN
20:30 – Official training at FFA Academy Stadium (open to the press for the first 15 minutes)
Monday 14 October 2019
09:00 – Exclusive RAI TV interview with Head Coach Nicolato
11:00 – Training (closed)
20:30 – FFA Academy Stadium in Yerevan: ARMENIA VS. ITALY
followed by a post-match press conference, dinner and return to Italy on a chartered flight and end of the national meet