World Cup Qualifiers: Squad announcement Saturday for FYR Macedonia and Albania matches

Two decisive fixtures remain in qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. The Azzurri will be back in action against FYR Macedonia on 6th October at the Stadio Olimpico – Grande Torino with kick-off at 20:45 CEST. They will then face Albania on 9th October at the Loro Borici Stadium in Shkodër. Italy’s task will be to secure second in Group G and qualify for the play-offs scheduled for November and to improve on the current world ranking of 17th in order to be one of the top ranked sides for the play-off draw on 17th October in Zurich.

Gian Piero Ventura will announce his squad on Saturday 30th October. The players will gather at Coverciano on Sunday evening. From 5th October, they will be in Turin where they will remain until they travel to Albania.

Italy vs. FYR Macedonia – Italy are in Turin for the 37th time, one year since the 1-1 draw with Spain there in October although this time they are moving from the Juventus Stadium to the Stadio Olimpico – Grande Torino where the most recent result was a 2-0 win over Bulgaria in 2009. The capital of Piedmont will host a number of initiatives prior to the match organised by the FIGC and the local council as part of the Città Azzurra scheme. This aims to involve Italy fans, promote the positive values of sport and grassroots football. The team will also stay in Turin to prepare for the away trip to Shkodër and there will also be a training session at the Stadio Filadelfia where the legend of the Grande Torino was written.

Albania vs. Italy – The Azzurri’s final match wil be in Shkodër for a historic match. It’s the 800th Italy match in history and it will also be the first match played in Albania after two meetings in Italy in recent years. A familiar face for Italian football and the national team will be on the opposite side as Christian Panucci took over in July as Albania coach from Gianni De Biasi. It will be the 14th time that Italy have faced an opponent led by an Italian after Foni (Switzerland, two times), Trapattoni (Republic of Ireland, four times), Ghedin (Malta, four times), Zaccheroni, once) and De Biasi, twice). During his career, Panucci played for Italy 57 times, scored four goals and won two Under-21 European Championships.

Italy Schedule

Sunday 1st October 
Arrive at Coverciano before 24:00 CEST

Monday 2nd October
13:40 Presentation of new sponsor with coach’s press conference to follow
16:00 Training (First 15 minutes open to press.)

Tuesday 3rd October
13:45 Meeting with the press (players)
16:30 Training (First 15 minutes open to press.)

Wednesday 4th October
13:45 Meeting with press (Players)
16:30 Training (First 15 minutes open to press.)

Thursday 5th October
10:00 Training MD-1  (First 15 minutes open to press.)
16:20 Travel from Florence to Turin
17:45 Walk Around
18:00 Press conference with coach and one player Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino

FYR Macedonia’s  MD-1 Schedule (Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino)
10:00 Training MD-1 at the Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino (First 15 minutes open to press.)
17:00 Press conference with coach and one player

Friday 6th October
Meetings with press afterwards

Saturday 7th October
17:00 Training at the  Stadio Filadelfia (open to press)

Sunday 8th October

10:00 Training MD-at Sisport (First 15 minutes open)
15:45 Travel from Turin to Tirana
17:40 Flight lands  in Tirana and transfer toLoro-Boriçi stadium in Shköder (Around 1h 30m)
19:30    Walk Around
20:00    Press conference with coach and one player at Loro-Borici Stadium

Monday 9th October
Meetings to follow and transfer to Tirana airport before flights to Milan and Rome.