Italy coach Roberto Donadoni is expected to react to Monday’s defeat to Holland by making wholesale changes in his starting line-up for today’s Group C encounter against Romania.
Italy suffered their worst defeat in 25 years against Holland and face another tough test against a stubborn Romania team.
Only the places of Gianluigi Buffon, Luca Toni and Andrea Pirlo are safe in an Italy side that could feature up to five changes.
“There will be four or five players who will play tomorrow who did not play in Berne,” said the Italy coach. “[Giorgio] Chiellini and [Alessandro] Del Piero will play, but I haven’t mentioned any other names. If you hypothesise they will be your mistakes.
“I think it’s fairly logical to make some changes. We have other alternatives.
“A little fear isn’t a bad thing. It’s healthy.
Fabio Grosso and Antonio Cassano are expected to come in after impressing as substitutes against Holland while Daniele de Rossi is also pushing for a place in the starting XI. Donadoni said his side were “still hurting” from Monday’s result and would be looking to make amends.
“Winning is fundamental for us,” he said. “We have worked towards that goal and will do everything to achieve it.”
Donadoni has asked his player to demonstrate some patience against what is expected to be an obdurate Romanian defence.
“We mustn’t think if we have not scored by the fourth minute it is a disaster,” he said. “The game lasts 90 minutes and we must be patient.”
Pressure on Italy
Romania coach Victor Piturca believes the pressure is all on Italy following their heaviest defeat at a European Championship.
“Italy need the victory more than we do,” said Piturca who confirmed that striker Ciprian Marica was “almost certainly” out after suffering a blow to his head in training on Tuesday.
“Italy are the favourites, but we came here to put on a good display and our main aim is to qualify for the knockout stage.”
Having failed to create many chances in their first game against France, Piturca will be looking for his players to show more attacking intent tonight.
“I haven’t decided who will start yet, but I might make some changes from the game against France,” he continued. “We will have to be vigilant in defence but there will also be times when we press in the opponents’ half. The team that’s better organised and can produce moments of inspiration will have the best chance of winning.”