Italy take on Norway without the injured Marco Verratti in their final game of the European Championship qualifiers, knowing that a win or draw guarantees them the top spot in the group.
Italy qualified for the Euro 2016 when they beat Azerbaijan 3-1 in their last game. The European giants were initially struggling, but, now have a chance to top their group – an unthinkable feat, a year ago.
Italy can also qualify as one of the top seed for the draw, should they win their final tie and Belgium fail to win. The Italians can also do the same if they beat Norway by more than four goals from the margin that Belgium beat Israel.
Conte will be without the services of PSG star Marco Verratti, who is out with an injured thigh, as well as Lazio midfielder Marco Parolo.
Conte was quoted saying by ESPN FC: “I really don’t feel like risking him. If this was an all-or-nothing game then I’d maybe think about it, but it would be a gamble and I’m also deciding for the good of his club.”
He also indicated that the likes of Mario Balotelli and Giuseppe Rossi will have to work a lot harder if they are to come back in the squad for the Euro 2016
“I’m going to take note of the group that got us here, and whoever wants to join in will have to deserve it twice as much, and will have to work much harder to take the place of those that are here,” he said.