Team Preview: Italy (EURO 2024 Fantasy)

euro 2024 fantasy italy


Italy is currently the defending champion of the UEFA EURO, and after another missed World Cup qualification, the ‘Azzurri’ want to be as well-prepared as possible to lift another cup and add it to their big museum.

How did Italy qualify?

Italy faced a tough group, with one of the main favorites to win the title, England, and with some countries that are always hard to face due to their supportive fans and talented players, such as Ukraine and North Macedonia (a nightmare for the Italian team).

Which players were crucial during qualifiers?

We must underline that Italy played with two different managers in the qualifying group. Mancini used some players, while Spalletti used others. The players that are sure to get a spot in Euro 2024 are ‘Gigio’ Donnarumma, Alessandro Bastoni, Nicolò Barella, and Federico Chiesa.

The top scorer of the team in qualifiers was Genoa striker Mateo Retegui, who was added to the Italian team by Mancini when he was playing in Argentina. He has to face the competition of another Serie A striker who’s having his best season at Atalanta: Gianluca Scamacca.

As for the assist-men, the favorites, as Spalletti will probably play with a 3-4-2-1 formation, are Federico Dimarco and the player that will occupy the right midfield, surely one between Giovanni Di Lorenzo and Raoul Bellanova.

Another player that can contribute to finishing the attacking possession is Nicolò Barella, ready to play for the Azzurri after a magical season with Inter and being a protagonist in the qualifying matches with four assists.

How will Italy play?

The new manager, Luciano Spalletti, is well-known in Italy for his proactive style of play. He usually uses a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 formation, schemes that helped Napoli to win their 3rd title after 33 years. However, it is more probable to see a 3-4-2-1 formation in Germany this summer for the player that he has.

The defense is essential for the Italian team. The three players who will start are the ones who brought Inter to their second star: Alessandro Bastoni on the left, who also has an excellent propensity to go forward and assist his teammates; Francesco Acerbi in the center, who has blocked some of the best strikers in the world, with Erling Haaland in the Champions League final being a notable example; and last but not least, Matteo Darmian, the player every manager dreams of having.

The three players who will have the job to score are not yet confirmed. Federico Chiesa is the number 10 who can change the result at any moment with any type of goal, so it is likely that he won’t sit on the bench. His stats at Juventus are poor due to the football that Allegri plays, but with the national team, he is the player to always give the ball to, with 5 shots per game and 1 goal per game in the qualifying group, which isn’t bad at all.

There are many contenders to start with Chiesa in the ‘2s’, such as Andrea Colpani, Riccardo Orsolini, and Mattia Zaccagni. However, the favorite to wear it is Matteo Politano, who had an average year in a disappointing one for Napoli, with 9 goals and 10 assists in the 2023-24 season. Spalletti knows him very well after being his coach at Inter and Napoli, so he won’t have any doubt about him.

Spalletti, meanwhile, will have some doubts about the striker. Mateo Retegui did well with the national team, even better than with Genoa, while Scamacca is doing well with Gasperini at Atalanta. He is also one of the top 5 Serie A players with the most attempts on target per match, so he can be the striker the Azzurri have been searching for a long time. As of today, I think Scamacca will start in the 11.

Italy set piece takers

To help you with some statistics for your fantasy football team, I can show you who will have the job to:

  • Take penalties: If Jorginho isn’t called up, the penalties will be taken by the striker who plays: Scamacca or Retegui.
  • Take free kicks: Both for short and long range, the best to do it is Federico Dimarco.
  • Take corners: Here, I will say Federico Dimarco again; he often does it with Inter. A good backup is Lorenzo Pellegrini.

Here is my prediction of how Italy will play in Germany:

The formation will be a creative 3-4-2-1. In goal, there will be Gianluigi Donnarumma. The 3 in defense are Bastoni, Acerbi, and Darmian. On the wings, Dimarco and Di Lorenzo. The midfielders will be Barella and Pellegrini. And lastly, Chiesa and Politano will help Scamacca to score.

The opponents in the group stage

Talking about the opponents that Italy will face, we can honestly say that it wasn’t a lucky draw for the Azzurri. Spain and Croatia are two of the teams that want to lift the trophy, and Albania can be a dangerous outsider.

The first game is the one where Italy has the highest probability to win, with expected points of 1.87 for Italy and 1.21 for Albania. In the other two games, it is really hard to bet on a winner. I would say that Italy starts with a slight advantage against Croatia, with 1.33 for Italy and 1.24 for Croatia, but against Spain, I see De la Fuente’s team as the favorite, with 1.47 for Spain and 1.29 for Italy.

Which Italy players we recommend for EURO 2024 Fantasy?

My thoughts are that there are few players sure about their spot in the starting eleven, one of them is surely Barella. He knows how to attack and how to defend, can score goals and provide assists, so he is the player that I suggest having in your team. Barella can go at a high price though, so if you want a cheaper option, I suggest Matteo Darmian. He can play in a defense of 3, a defense of 4 as a full-back, and also as a winger in a midfield of 5, both on the left and right.

Who can be a surprise then? My mind goes with Raoul Bellanova. He did an excellent job as a right midfielder at Torino with many assists; his pace is his strength, so he can steal the job from Di Lorenzo during the campaign.

These were my thoughts and suggestions regarding the Italian team in this year’s Euro.

Thank you for reading.
Claudio Enrique Casati, Aspiring Italian journalist.

Claudio Enrique Casati

Aspiring Italian journalist.

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