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Euro 2020

Verratti set to return as Mancini makes changes for Wales


Rome (AFP) – Marco Verratti is set to return from injury as Italy coach Roberto Mancini looks to make changes for Sunday’s final group game against Wales in the heat of Rome.

Midfielder Verratti missed Italy’s first two Group A games against Turkey and Switzerland, both 3-0 wins, with a knee injury picked up with club side Paris Saint-Germain last month.

“I think Marco needs to play, he has been training for quite a few days now, including with his teammates and he’s doing well,” Mancini told a press conference in the Italian capital. 

“We’ll see, if he’s on the pitch as it’s likely, how he feels, and how he will be at the end of the first half.”

In Verratti’s absence midfielder Manuel Locatelli has starred. 

But Juventus winger Federico Chiesa also looks set to get his first start of Euro 2020.

“Tomorrow we have to change something,” continued Mancini.

“We would have done it anyway if it was a decisive game because it’s the third game in ten days, playing at 6pm in 32 degrees Celsius, we need fresh players.”

Italy are already through to the last 16, and Sunday’s match will decide whether they finish first or second in the group.

Wales need a draw to progress to the next round, while a win would put them through in pole position.

“To play well and to try to win, we have no other goals,” said Mancini.

“A ‘biscotto’ (biscuit) is when two teams aim for the same result to advance. 

“This does not concern us, fortunately.

“We are going to London, we are going to Amsterdam, it will depend on the result.

“We will go where we have to go, it is not a big problem to go to one place rather than another.” 

“(Wales) are a tough team to play against and have been high in the rankings for a few years, which means they have quality players. 

“They are a British team and therefore physically strong. They have already made the semi-final (in 2016), it will be a difficult game.”

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