Italy’s Insigne targets weakened Belgium defence at Euro 2016

Pérols (France) (AFP) – Italy winger Lorenzo Insigne called on his teammates to exploit a Belgium defence riddled by injuries when the sides meet in their opening match at Euro 2016 on Monday.

“If I was the coach I would play on the attack because their defence isn’t very solid,” Insigne said at Friday’s Italian team press conference at their base camp near Montpellier in southern France.

“We’re doing specific training exercises to put them in difficulty,” added the Napoli star, who made his international debut two months after Italy were routed 4-0 by Spain in the Euro 2012 final.

Belgium, ranked second in the world behind Argentina, are without injured captain Vincent Kompany as well as fellow defenders Nicolas Lombaerts, Bjorn Engels and Dedryck Boyata.

Barcelona centre-back Thomas Vermaelen, who is in the 23-man squad, missed last Sunday’s friendly against Norway with a muscle strain.

Italy play Belgium in Lyon then take on Sweden four days later before rounding off their Group E campaign against the Republic of Ireland on June 22.

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