Italy Coach Roberto Mancini: “Inter Midfielder Nicolo Barella Will Start Against Northern Ireland”

Italy Coach Roberto Mancini: “Inter Midfielder Nicolo Barella Will Start Against Northern Ireland”
November 14, 2021 22:30
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Italy coach Roberto Mancini has confirmed that Inter’s Nicolo Barella will be available to face Northern Ireland tomorrow, despite question marks surrounding his fitness.

The midfielder struggled against Switzerland last time out and there were doubts about whether he was in optimal condition to feature in the final World Cup Qualifier, but Mancini hinted that he would play in Belfast.

In an interview with Italian television broadcaster Rai, and as reported by FCInter1908.it, the tactician claimed that Barella was fitter than he had been prior to the game against Switzerland on Friday, whilst suggesting that AC Milan’s Sandro Tonali could partner him in the middle.

“Barella has recovered and he is even better than before Switzerland,” the former Inter and Manchester City coach declared.

“Tonali has grown a lot, he could play from the beginning. It doesn’t matter if we play a false nine or a centre-forward, it is about mentality.”

Italy are vying for top spot in Group C with Switzerland and know that any slip-up against Northern Ireland could see them fall into the play-offs, but Mancini urged calm from his team.

“Against Switzerland we suffered a little from anxiety. Tomorrow, against Northern Ireland there will be pressure but we must avoid this,” he added.

By Suhayl Al-Sammari

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