"I don't think Chiesa will play there" - Mancini provides update ahead of Italy's Nations League semi-final clash against Spain

Federico Chiesa is expected to play for Italy in their clash with Spain on Wednesday evening
Federico Chiesa is expected to play for Italy in their clash with Spain on Wednesday evening
Jidonu Mauyon

Italy and Spain are set to lock horns in the semi-finals of the UEFA Nations League on Wednesday evening.

Italy manager Roberto Mancini has given a hint on how he plans to use Juventus forward Federico Chiesa in the vital encounter. He explained:

"Chiesa can play in any attacking roles. His natural position is on the right wing, then left and a striker. He is very attack-minded, has pace and a great shot. I think he can improve a great deal, doing much, much more, but also he can play in any role upfront. He’d be an atypical centre-forward, but he could do it."
"We’ll evaluate how everyone is and decide tomorrow, but I don’t think Chiesa will be used there against Spain. I expect Italy to continue entertaining, playing well and making the fans happy."
🇮🇹 Italy ✅🇪🇸 Spain ✅🇧🇪 Belgium ✅🇫🇷 France ✅📝 All 4⃣ UEFA Nations League semi-finalists' are represented in the combined XI, but who makes the full side? 👇

Following the two sides' thrilling clash at the Euros this summer, Mancini expects Spain to be difficult opponents this time around.

The 56-year-old manager recalled:

"Spain put in a great performance that day, perhaps the best of the Euros, and they are a very technical side who have been playing like this for many years. They caused us a lot of problems."
Luis Enrique insists Spain will be ‘ambitious and try to win from the start’ against Italy in the Nations League semi-final, but hit out at the media. ‘I know football much better than you do.’… #Spain #Italy #ITAESP #NationsLeague #UNL #UNLFinals #Azzurri
"We watched that game back and evaluated what we can improve, but I think it will be a different, much more open encounter. Both teams want to win and I think it’ll be more fun too."

He added:

"It’s disappointing that we are without two important players at the Euros as they are both injured. We young players with different characteristics in their place, Moise Kean and Giacomo Raspadori, so it can be an opportunity for them."

How have Spain and Italy fared in recent games?

Italy and Spain produced a classic at the Euros this summer
Italy and Spain produced a classic at the Euros this summer

Wednesday's game promises to be a huge clash between two of the finest national teams in the world at present. The history between Spain and Italy makes the fixture more attractive, and fans can't wait to see how they'll match up against each other.

Judging by recent results, Italy head into the fixture as the better side. Roberto Mancini's men earned a convincing 5-0 victory over Lithuania last time out and are currently on an unbeaten run that has lasted 37 matches.

Spain are also in decent form, having beaten Kosovo 2-0 and Georgia 4-0 in their last two fixtures. La Roja will be looking forward to getting revenge against the Italians after going down against them at the Euros.

Edited by Rachel Syiemlieh

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