Inter midfielder Nicolo Barella could start Italy’s EURO 2020 quarterfinal encounter with Belgium on the bench, with coach Roberto Mancini facing a selection dilemma heading into Friday’s match.
This according to today’s print edition of Rome-based newspaper La Repubblica, who claim that the Inter man will be in contention with Atalanta midfielder Matteo Pessina for a starting spot.
It is likely that Chelsea’s Jorginho will start in midfield, and that one of PSG’s Marco Verratti or Sassuolo’s Manuel Locatelli will also feature from the start, but Mancini will decide between Barella and Pessina with La Repubblica claiming that the Inter man is the slight favourite to start.
The Inter midfielder started Italy’s first two group stage games as well as Saturday’s round-of-sixteen win over Austria, and his performances have been well-regarded.
However, Pessina has also impressed in his appearances with the Azzurri, and Mancini could turn to him if he believes the Atalanta player’s qualities will give the team something that Barella cannot or that the Inter player needs a rest.
Meanwhile, young Nerazzurri defender Alessandro Bastoni does not likely to start against his club teammate Romelu Lukaku.