Probable line-ups: Italy vs. Bulgaria

by | Sep 1, 2021 21:24

Italy should start Federico Chiesa, Lorenzo Insigne and Ciro Immobile upfront in Thursday’s World Cup qualifier against Bulgaria, making few changes from the UEFA EURO 2020 Final.

It kicks off at the Stadio Artemio Franchi in Florence at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT).

Coach Roberto Mancini said in his press conference that the first line-up since that triumph against England at Wembley would be very similar to the one that lifted the trophy.

Giorgio Chiellini is not fit to feature, so Francesco Acerbi steps in with captain Leonardo Bonucci.

It should be the usual midfield of Nicolò Barella, Jorginho and Marco Verratti, with Chiesa and Insigne flanking Immobile upfront.

As for Bulgaria, it remains to be seen what approach they will take, but a 3-5-2 is entirely possible.

Monza defender Valentin Antov is ready to guide his team from the back, with Atanas Iliev of Ascoli as the centre-forward.

Italy will wear black armbands and a minute’s silence will be held before kick-off following the death of former defender Francesco Morini at the age of 77.

Bonucci will also receive an award for reaching 100 caps for the Azzurri.

The referee is Serdar Gozubuyuk of the Netherlands, with Pol van Boekel as the VAR.

Probable line-ups

Italy (4-3-3): Donnarumma; Di Lorenzo, Acerbi, Bonucci, Emerson; Barella, Jorginho, Verratti; Chiesa, Immobile, Insigne

Bulgaria (3-5-2): Naumov; Antov, Turitsov, Bozhikov; Karagen, Chochev, Kostadinov, Vitanov, Nedelev; Delev, Iliev

Ref: Gozubuyuk (NED)

Chiesa against Spain


  1. Francis

    Why was chiellini called up in the 1st place? Bastoni instead of acerbi

  2. Sunny

    Bastoni and Mancini should get as much milage as possible before WC 2022.

  3. Gaz

    I don’t get it with Immobile. He is completely useless with Italy!

  4. Dan

    I think its time we start to say goodbye to Immobile. Seriously in need of new striking options Mancio. Surely Ciro has been given ample opportunities at international level?

  5. Tryst

    I know what you say about, Ciro…but he’s 4 goals in 2 games in the league this far. Agree, at the Euros he was Italy’s worst player by a mile

  6. Dan

    And agree with Francis. Mancini should be starting to transition the defence so that Bastoni now becomes a regular for Italy, considering he’s a regular for Inter. Acerbi perhaps as aa squad player but not a starter.

  7. Luciano S

    Ciro comments are understandable. I think we looked most threatening in the final when Insigne played as a false 9. I’d be tempted to do it again with Berardi on the right wing. Really important we keep up this momentum – the world record beckons and it would be a tremendous achievement in beating Brazil and Spain; the luckiest international teams in football history!

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