Italy consider False 9 options against Spain

by | Oct 5, 2021 23:24

Lorenzo Pellegrini, Lorenzo Insigne and Federico Chiesa are all options to play as a False 9 for Italy in the Nations League against Spain.

The semi-final kicks off at San Siro on Wednesday at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT).

Italy go into the game without real centre-forwards, as Ciro Immobile and Andrea Belotti are both out injured.

Giacomo Raspadori and Moise Kean are youthful alternatives, but their lack of experience and the tactical considerations of playing against Spain suggest Roberto Mancini is leaning towards a False 9.

The coach said in an interview with RAI Sport that it was unlikely he’d opt for Chiesa as a centre-forward, despite the fact the player has been used in that position recently by Juventus.

Other options suggested are Roma creative midfielder Pellegrini, while Insigne would be another alternative.

Domenico Berardi is another contender, although more likely to be played wide.

Spain are in a not dissimilar situation, as Alvaro Morata, Gerard Moreno, Pedri, Dani Olmo and Jordi Alba are all out of action.

Mikel Oyarzabal and Pablo Sarabia are options to lead the attack, potentially swapping positions to keep the defence guessing.

Italy (4-3-3): G Donnarumma; Di Lorenzo, Bonucci, Chiellini, Emerson Palmieri; Barella, Jorginho, Locatelli; Berardi, Insigne, Chiesa

Spain (4-3-3): Unai Simón; Azpilicueta, Pau Torres, Laporte, Reguilon; Busquets, Koke, Fornals; Ferran Torres, Pablo Sarabia, Mikel Oyarzabal

Lorenzo Pellegrini


  1. Jarod KNowles

    Yes False 9, element of surprise. Spain have done that to us a few time’s and now we are using it and it actually works, even Juventus is using it and it works. Let Chiesa aka Italo Messi through run into center.

  2. Milan Fan

    That’s a pretty good line-up imo.

  3. Danny Rubbo

    Veratti? Dove stai?

  4. who me

    Italy v France final would be lit !!!

    still have to beat Spain …again, which is never an easy feat.

  5. Ed Tasca

    How does false 9 work

  6. Feroli

    No immobile and no Belotti is no great loss – unfortunately. Against Spain it will be a very ‘possession’ based game and the ‘classic’ centre forward does not always work. When I think back to the Euros, the Spain – Italy game was very skill full, fast and technical (by far the best two teams in the competition) It’s very difficult, I imagine, as a manager to know how to line up against Spain. They are very fluid – perhaps the best way is to also play a ‘fluid’ formation against them.

  7. Bruno

    Insigne as the false 9 and then Kean can come later in the game and run at the tired legs. I really hope that

    Spain, aside from their finishing, played to their maximum in the semi-final; we didn’t. I expect us to be more aggresive this time round and create more chances. Whether we’ll take them….

    Even with Pedri’s absence it’s still going to be a very tough game, and a tough one to predict the scoreline.

  8. serie a lover

    if i remember correctly it is with those front three italy really turned games around because playing wih immobile the attack seemed to stifle. i dont agree with chiesa as false 9 because he is too much out of the game. i prefer him on the wing running at players. better to use insigne as the false 9. then later on in the game you can bring on either kean and raspadori where they can use their speed against tired defenses.

  9. Yonas

    I preferer Lorenzo Pellegrini for false 9 Option. Now is the time for Lorenzo Pellegrini.

  10. Token Bubble

    For me, I’d like to se the following line up, but I doubt it will happen


    Calabria (he’ll no doubt play Di Lorenzo)
    Dimarco (he’ll no doubt play Emerson)

    Locatelli (Is Verratti unfit? If not, maybe Locatelli just ahead of him as I think he’s physicality might be needed more for this game )

    Pellegrini (I think he’ll opt for Kean though as a reference point up front)

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