Petkovic: ‘Not too much respect for Italy’

by | Jun 15, 2021 18:03

Switzerland manager Vladimir Petkovic treats Italy with respect, as they are ‘one of the favourites to win’ Euro 2020, but ‘not too much respect.’

The second Group A game kicks off on Wednesday at 20.00 UK time (19.00 GMT) at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.

This is a familiar venue for Petkovic, who was on the Lazio bench from 2012 to January 2014, beating Roma in the 2013 Coppa Italia Final.

“It is wonderful to be back at the Olimpico after eight years,” said the coach in his press conference.

“We will play our football. Every opponent must be treated with respect. We have to respect Italy, as they are one of the favourites to win the tournament, but not too much respect. It’s also important to show our own quality, to surprise and amaze Italy.”

Switzerland were held to a 1-1 draw in their opening Group A game against Wales, while Italy beat Turkey 3-0.

“We need to move the ball quicker and be more clinical in front of goal, to be stronger in the tackle. It’s the only way we’ll do it.

“Italy are going to be feeling enthusiastic and we need to put a lid on that, acting preventatively on some moves, playing without fear, but with respect.

“We have to take it step by step, one game at a time, as it’s important for us to give our best against the strongest team in the group.”

There are concerns that goalkeeper Yann Sommer might be distracted, as his wife is due to give birth at any moment.

“Fortunately, it’s his wife who has to do all the work, so he’s able to stay here and focus on the game. I hope the baby arrives with happiness, then we’ll see the other situations.

“I could put all the starting XI from the first game on the bench or not, I’ll only announce my choices tomorrow evening. It’s not about any one player, it’s the team that must give 120 per cent.”

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