Holders Italy Will Have it Tough at Euro 2024

Italy will enter the European Championships in Germany as the holders. However, to be very frank, their chances of repeating the heroics of 2021 seem very remote at the moment. The Italians have failed to qualify for the last two editions of the World Cup, which was pretty disappointing for the four-time world champions.
Under manager Luciano Spalletti, the Azzurri have played reasonably well so far. However, his team will have to play really well to even go close to defending their title.

Many Important Players Have Retired

A number of players from the Italians’ last Euro campaign have retired from international football. Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini, Ciro Immobile, Lorenzo Insigne have all retired from the national team, and each one of them played a key role in Euro 2020.
The impact has been much on their defence especially, as it is very difficult to replace the likes of Bonucci and Chiellini. Matteo Darmian and Giovanni Di Lorenzo are the only really experienced Italian defender this time around, with Alessandro Bastoni also having played a fair bit of international football in the past.
The same is the case as far as Italy’s midfield is concerned, with only Jorginho and Nicolò Barella being the only survivors from the title-winning campaign last time. This is going to be Jorginho’s last international tournament in all probability, while Barella’s dynamism should keep helping his team as well. In fact, he should be the most vital cog in their wheel for the tournament.
Among the forwards, Federico Chiesa and Stephen El Shaarawy are the experienced ones. The former caused a flutter with his performance in Euro 2020 and will be one the most crucial players in Italy’s attack. Gianluca Scamacca, who might play as the centre-forward  also won the UEFA Europa League with Atalanta last season, scoring 19 goals in 44 matches. However, his return of a solitary goal in 16 matches needs improvement.

Italy Involved in the “Group of Death”:

Italy will have to deal with very tough opponents in the group stage as well. They have been drawn alongside Spain, Croatia and Albania. Both Spain and Croatia are among the heavyweights of European football at the moment.
The Croatians have been one of the most consistent teams in Europe during the last few years. The Spaniards have failed to win a major international title in the last 12 years, but will be eager to prove their doubters wrong this time around.
However, the Italians will take heart from the fact that they qualified from a tough group also having England and Ukraine in it. Still, England beat them both home and away, which goes on to show their recent struggles against big teams.
The recent form of the Azzurri has also been nothing special. They drew with goalless with Turkey and had an unconvincing 1-0 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina in the two most international friendlies. If Spalletti’s team is to go past the group stage, they will have to play better from the beginning of the tournament itself. It remains to be seen whether the Azzurri are able to do that.

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