U21: Di Biagio ‘confident’

Gigi Di Biagio confident Italy can beat England for the European Under-21 semi-finals, though Domenico Berardi “is not 100 per cent.”

The Azzurrini have just one point from the opening two tournament games in the Czech Republic.

They must defeat England on Wednesday night, but even that won’t be enough if Portugal draw with Sweden.

“I have to evaluate a few things today to decide my line-up,” said the Coach.

Gigi Di Biagio confident Italy can beat England for the European Under-21 semi-finals, though Domenico Berardi “is not 100 per cent.”

The Azzurrini have just one point from the opening two tournament games in the Czech Republic.

They must defeat England on Wednesday night, but even that won’t be enough if Portugal draw with Sweden.

“I have to evaluate a few things today to decide my line-up,” said the Coach.

“We are able to play with two strikers, but also the 4-3-3. I thought that I’d make three changes the day before the Portugal match, but saw some still hadn’t recovered from Sweden and so decided to introduce five new players.

“I will certainly make changes tomorrow, but I cannot say how many.”

Sassuolo star Berardi collapsed with cramp towards the end of the 0-0 draw with Portugal over the weekend.

“He is not 100 per cent fit, but he will play. England have top level players and Harry Kane is their jewel in the crown. If we play the way we did against Portugal, then we have a good chance of winning.”

Italy fear being ‘stitched up’ by a draw in the other game, especially as Sweden famously drew 2-2 with Denmark to knock the senior side out of Euro 2004.

“We have no choice, we have to win,” replied Di Biagio. “Only if we get our result can we even consider what’s going on elsewhere.

“I am convinced it will not end in a draw. If it does, it’ll be down to natural causes. We mustn’t think of the other match, otherwise we could get distracted and not get the result we need.”

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