Italy CT Roberto Mancini wants to continue to ‘climb the ranking’ and believes the Azzurri have ‘put together an excellent team’ for the matches in October.

The Azzurri start with a friendly against Moldova at the Artemio Franchi, where Mancini attended the press conference today.

Some of his players haven’t arrived yet because of travelling restrictions due to the coronavirus protocol, but Mancini expects to have a full squad tomorrow.

Italy CT Roberto Mancini wants to continue to ‘climb the ranking’ and believes the Azzurri have ‘put together an excellent team’ for the matches in October.

The Azzurri start with a friendly against Moldova at the Artemio Franchi, where Mancini attended the press conference today.

Some of his players haven’t arrived yet because of travelling restrictions due to the coronavirus protocol, but Mancini expects to have a full squad tomorrow.

“There are no big problems, the Juventus players will probably arrive on Wednesday,” Mancini said at the press conference ahead of the friendly against Moldova, scheduled at 19.45 UK time tomorrow.

“The ranking is very important; we can’t compromise what we have done in recent months during tomorrow’s game.

“We have recovered eight or nine positions and we would like to climb even further before the draw for the World Cup qualifiers.

“We must do well in the games that don’t count too, changing players too.”

Francesco Caputo has been called up again and Mancini said he might get a chance to play against Moldova.

“If Ciccio is here, he has a chance to play. He has been scoring for a long time, he has a good feeling. He’s a good guy, who deserves to be here.”

Federico Chiesa left Fiorentina for Juventus last night, but Mancini said it doesn’t change his ‘importance’ for the Azzurri.

“For us, he’s an important player. He was when he was at Fiorentina and he is now that he’s with Juventus.”

The COVID-19 controversy last weekend has split Italian football, but Mancini feels the national side unifies the country.

“Throughout Europe there are players in the stands and that’s right,” Mancini said. “For the rest, I don’t talk about it.

“We are very pleased that the national team attracts many fans and that people, even if they are at home right now, watches the games on TV.

“It means the lads are entertaining, that’s what strikes you.”

Mancini expects a defensive Moldova at the Artemio Franchi but stressed they have done well in similar situations before.

“It’s like Bosnia, who defended themselves a lot. It has already happened to us and most of the times it went well.

“We have a very different team than we usually do, but I don’t think we will have problems. They’re all lads who have been with us for the last two years.”

The CT never hid the fact he wanted Chelsea defender Emerson Palmieri to find first-team football elsewhere and reiterated his wish for the left-back who remained in London.

“I was hoping Emerson could go to a team to play continuously. We have always had a bit of difficulty, there are few Italians compared to the past. But we have put together an excellent team.”

On Sunday, Italy face Poland away in the UEFA Nations League, before returning to Bergamo for a home game against Holland.

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