Italy Vs. Spain: Our Picks For Mancini’s Five Selection Headaches

Following their victory over Belgium in the quarter finals, it’s safe to say that the Azzurri are on the right path. Roberto Mancini has now led the team towards its 15th win in a row, and they remain undefeated in their last 32 matches. Based on these incredible numbers, the work of the former Inter and Manchester City manager hasn’t gone unnoticed, as he obviously has a clear idea of how he wants his side to play. However, this isn’t to say that the Italy manager hasn’t been facing some selection headaches throughout the tournament, and he’ll have some tough decision to make yet again, when he takes on Spain in the semi finals of Euro 2020.

So let’s find out what are the five major selection dilemma that Mancini is facing for Tuesday, whilst making our own picks.

Center Back: Chiellini / Acerbi

Whilst Leonardo Bonucci will surely start on Tuesday, his longtime Juventus teammate will be expected to be by his side. Following Giorgio Chiellini’s heroics against Romelu Lukaku and Belgium, the captain is unlikely to be dropped.

Nonetheless, we must remember that the 36-year-old has been injury-prone for the last few years, and playing back-to-back matches hardly helps. So would Mancini be willing to rest him ahead of the crucial semi final encounter?

Even though Francesco Acerbi performed admirably against Austria, the manager should opt for his best possible XI, and the Lazio defender will only be expected to feature if things go awry for Chiellini once again.

Our Pick: Giorgio Chiellini

Right-Back: Di Lorenzo / Florenzi

After starting the first match against Turkey, Alessandro Florenzi has been missing with an injury, with Giovanni Di Lorenzo acting in his stead.

The Napoli man faced some adversity in his last outing against Belgium, whilst the former Roma captain is once again available for Italy, and could be in the running for a starting role against Spain.

Although some observers feel that Florenzi tends to fade in the second half, Mancini could use his enthusiasm and passionate runs for the first 60 minutes, while giving a breather for Di Lorenzo.

Our Pick: Alessandro Florenzi

Left-Back: Emerson / Bastoni

After his brilliant performances throughout the competition, Leonardo Spinazzola made the left flank his own. However, the Roma man suffered from a terrible Achilles tendon injury, which leaves the left-back role up for grabs.

Although Emerson Palmieri is the natural choice, Alessandro Bastoni has all what it takes to play as a fullback (and he did so during his loan spell at Parma).

With Florenzi tending to join the attacks, a left-back who can act as a third center back and support Chiellini could be very useful.

Our Pick: Alessandro Bastoni  

Right Winger: Chiesa / Berardi

After some impressive displays in the first two matches of Euro 2020, Domenico Berardi justified his presence in the first XI.

But it all changed during the round of 16 clash against Austria, when the Sassuolo star failed to deliver the goods, and Federico Chiesa came off the bench to break the deadlock.

Although the Juventus winger wasn’t decisive for Italy against Belgium, his pace and direct runs can cause havoc for Spain.

Our Pick: Federico Chiesa

Center Forward: Immobile / Belotti

Since taking over the national team, Mancini has been facing this particular dilemma upfront. Ciro Immobile is undoubtedly one of the best strikers in Serie A, but Andrea Belotti can sometimes perform better for the Azzurri.

Following some under-par performances in the knockout stage, the Lazio striker seems to be missing sharpness and could use a rest, whilst the Torino captain looks much fresher at this point of tournament.

Our Pick: Andrea Belotti

Our Starting XI (4-3-3):  Donnarumma; Florenzi, Bonucci, Chiellini, Bastoni; Barella, Jorginho, Verratti; Chiesa, Belotti, Insigne

Read More – Euro 2020 Semi Finals – Predictions and Probable Lineups