On Friday, national team manager Roberto Mancini announced the list of players picked for Italy’s first three World Cup qualifiers.
The list consisted of 38 players, including three Inter stars who’s availability was initially in doubt – due to the club’s Covid-19 outbreak – but were later allowed to join.
Choosing 11 players out of the 38 available won’t be an easy task for Mancini. Whilst the coach is expected to rotate between the three fixtures, here’s the strongest formation available in our humble opinion:
Picking the man between the posts is definitely the easiest part, as Gianluigi Donnarumma is the only reasonable choice.
Whilst the CT could be tempted to give a chance for the likes of Alessandro Bastoni, Gianluca Mancini or even Rafael Toloi, if Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci are fully fit, then they still offer the best partnership due to their experience and the chemistry between them.
Manuel Lazzari and Giovanni Di Lorenzo are both viable option at right back, but Alessandro Florenzi is enjoying a successful season at Paris, and therefore should be considered the favorite.
Although Leonardo Spinazzola is doing well at Roma, Emerson Palmieri has proved to be a more complete left back during the latest international fixtures.
Marco Verratti is one of the best midfielders in the world, and thus his position is always secured. Jorginho’s skills and top level experience gives him the edge over Manuel Locatelli in the regista role.
The third and final midfield spot is contested between Nicoló Barella and Lorenzo Pellegrini. Whilst both men are excellent players, the Nerazzurri star is the slight favorite.
Even though the squad is packed with talented wingers, it’s hard to make a case against Lorenzo Insigne starting on the left.
On the right wing, Federico Chiesa might be the favorite in Mancini’s book, but Domenico Berardi’s performances for Sassuolo have been top notch.
Finally, in the center forward position, we find three players with solid cases. Nonetheless, it must be said that Ciro Immobile and Andrea Belotti haven’t been at their best lately, not to mention that the former never truly convinced in the Azzurri colors.
Therefore, giving the nod for the young and electric Moise Kean could have prove to be a fruitful decision, but after pulling out with an injury, then Immobile should be the next in line
Italy Best XI (4-3-3): Donnarumma; Florenzi, Bonucci, Chiellini, Emerson; Barella, Jorginho, Verratti; Berardi, Kean, Immobile.