Mancini: ‘Italy different style for Immobile’

by | Oct 10, 2020 17:53

Roberto Mancini concedes Italy are going to struggle against Poland, because Robert Lewandowski is ‘one of the best centre-forwards in the world,’ but defends Ciro Immobile’s record.

The second Nations League match of the group kicks off in Gdansk on Sunday at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT).

The Azzurri won here with a last-gasp Cristiano Biraghi goal in the Nations League in October 2018, which proved a turning point for Mancini’s tenure.

Roberto Mancini concedes Italy are going to struggle against Poland, because Robert Lewandowski is ‘one of the best centre-forwards in the world,’ but defends Ciro Immobile’s record.

The second Nations League match of the group kicks off in Gdansk on Sunday at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT).

The Azzurri won here with a last-gasp Cristiano Biraghi goal in the Nations League in October 2018, which proved a turning point for Mancini’s tenure.

“I had hoped the team would improve game by game and that is what happened. The lads deserve credit, as they learned very quickly what they needed to do,” said the coach in his press conference.

There are some injury concerns for Giorgio Chiellini, so Francesco Acerbi or Angelo Ogbonna could face up to Bayern Munich hitman Lewandowski.

“Lewandowski is one of the best centre-forwards in the world and he has been for several years. It’s a pity we never got to see him playing in Serie A.

“He’s fundamental for Poland, although they also have other great players too. It’s fair to say any team would struggle against the likes of Lewandowski and Edin Dzeko, but Italy have always had some of the best defenders in the world and that remains true today. Of course, we can improve a great deal too.”

The Nazionale beat Moldova 5-0 in a friendly last week, so the pressure is on for Immobile to start delivering the same goal-scoring statistics for Italy that he does at Lazio.

“It might also be because the two teams play in very different ways,” mused Mancini. “Ciro has always done well when playing with us. If we had 38 games in a row together, he’d score 25 goals, but it’s tougher when you only get together every now and then.”

Immobile seems to be the favourite to lead the trident attack tomorrow, with Roma’s Lorenzo Pellegrini and then either Juventus new buy Federico Chiesa or PSG signing Moise Kean.

“Nobody likes to be on the bench, everyone wants to play, that is only natural. We play a certain type of football and it has been giving good results, so someone has to sit it out.

“Kean is in fairly good shape, we let him play for 20 minutes on Wednesday against Moldova. We’ll see.”

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