Italy to Make Two Massive Defensive Changes Against Swiss

Italy coach Luciano Spalletti has delivered a crucial squad update ahead of Gli Azzurri’s competitive-looking Euro 2024 last-16 tie against Switzerland on Saturday evening. With several first-team stars struggling with flu and injuries, the ex-Napoli manager will ring changes to the starting XI that squeezed into the knockouts.

Federico Dimarco won the race against time to help Italy pull off an all-important 1-1 draw against Croatia in the group-stage finale. However, the Inter star has paid a hefty price for pushing himself to his limits and will have to watch the game against Switzerland from the stands. His clubmate Matteo Darmian will likely take his place.

Spalletti confirmed the attacking-minded left-back is out of contention for Saturday’s clash.

Dimarco won’t be there,” he said, as quoted by Calciomercato.

But it shouldn’t be a problem for Italy, considering Darmian started the match against Croatia as a left-back as Spalletti experimented with Dimarco as a winger. It didn’t work out, though.

Another problem for Italy is the absence of Bologna’s Riccardo Calafiori, who accumulated two yellow cards in the group phase. Calafioi partnered with Alessandro Bastoni at the heart of Spalletti’s backline, and it’ll seemingly be up to Roma stalwart Gianluca Mancini to fill the void.

Mancini plays instead of Calafiori. He has the experience and, in this case here, I want to play with a right on the right and a left-footed on the left. I prefer it that way,” the Italy boss concluded.

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