Roberto Mancini will try out an experimental side in Tuesday’s friendly against the United States in Genk as the Italian coach searches for a solution to Italy’s goalscoring problem after missing out on the Nations League knockout stages.
Saturday’s goalless draw with Portugal at the San Siro was enough for the European champions advance to the semi-finals at Italy’s expense, and Mancini’s focus has turned towards Euro 2020 ahead of the qualifying draw in Dublin on December 2.
The ex-Manchester City boss said Sunday he wants to “see young players in action” against the United States.
Veteran Giorgio Chiellini has returned to club side Juventus and Lorenzo Insigne, Alessandro Florenzi, Jorginho, and Ciro Immobile were also released back to rejoin their respective clubs following and end to their Nations League campaign that was simultaneously frustrating and encouraging.
“Of course, there’s a long way to go and we are working, trying to renew the national team with young players and a different tactical approach,” Mancini told Italian television network Rai.
Nearly nine million people watched the game as the country embraces a younger, more vibrant Azzurri after last year’s World Cup qualification disaster.
“Scoring goals is an important detail, but we played very well,” added Mancini, whose side only scored two goals in their Group A3 campaign.
Since the former Manchester City and Inter Milan boss took over they have scored just seven in eight games but Nations League performances against Poland and Portugal have given hope for the future.
“We’ll slowly sort out the attack … we are a little unlucky in some situations, but the team is proving that it can compete at any level in the future and we can only get stronger from here.”