Of the first ninety minutes played by the new Under 21 last Friday against Luxembourg in the debut match of the qualifiers at Euro 2023, Nicolato liked the commitment of a very young group that has been working together for a few days, which is starting to get to know each other and that relies on the experience of veterans to tackle a challenging journey.
“Compared to the previous cycle – underlines the blue coach in the press conference on the eve – I would like to review all the good things we have shown from a character point of view. The great cohesion and the desire to reach the objectives have united us, and therefore that team must be taken as a model. But, to achieve that kind of cohesion, it takes time and work ”.
But the time available is very little. Having successfully overcome the first obstacle, the Azzurrini are ready for the second match against Montenegro leaders of the group scheduled for tomorrow afternoon at the “Romeo Menti” stadium in Vicenza (5.30 pm, live on Rai2). After the defections of Gallo and Piccoli, the group was joined by the Cremonese defender Caleb Okoli (already called up last Friday, but subsequently dismissed on Monday due to the unavailability of the same player), the Pisa forward Lorenzo Lucca and that of Crotone Samuele Mulattieri , both at the first call in blue.
Although fresh from the defeat against Sweden, Montenegro is a team to be faced with due concentration, as explained by coach Nicolato: “Montenegro has a team soul, they are very aggressive; the boys of that part of Europe never give up, they fight and surely
they will test us. We have to progress from time to time and work on mistakes. Compared to the match against Luxembourg there will be some variations, however the 90% playing system will be the same. I’ll post some news, but I can’t say which one ”.
The Under team returns to Vicenza – where they have already played five matches valid for qualifying for the European Championship – almost three years after the last match played, a friendly match with Tunisia dated October 15, 2018. With Montenegro only one precedent, the friendly match won by Italy on 4 June 2014.
The list of those called up
Goalkeepers: Marco Carnesecchi (Cremonese), Alessandro Plizzari (Milan), Alessandro Russo (Alessandria);
Defenders: Raoul Bellanova (Girondins de Bordeaux), Riccardo Calafiori (Rome), Andrea Cambiaso (Genoa), Andrea Carboni (Cagliari), Gabriele Ferrarini (Perugia), Matteo Lovato (Atalanta), Caleb Okoli (Cremonese), Andrea Papetti (Brescia ), Lorenzo Pirola (Monza), Iyenoma Destiny Udogie (Udinese);
Midfielders: Marco Brescianini (Monza), Jacopo Da Riva (Spal), Nicolò Fagioli (Juventus), Filippo Ranocchia (Juventus), Samuele Ricci (Empoli), Nicolò Rovella (Genoa), Sandro Tonali (Milan);
Forwards: Matteo Cancellieri (Hellas Verona), Lorenzo Colombo (Spal), Lorenzo Lucca (Pisa), Samuele Mulattieri (Crotone), Eddie Salcedo (Inter), Kelvin Yeboah (Sportklub Sturm Graz).