Euro 2024 Qualification at Stake: Italy's Battle Against Ukraine Looms Large

Posted by World Wide Tickets And Hospitality on November 8th, 2023

Luciano Spalletti expressed confidence that Italy is prepared for a pivotal "Euro 2024" showdown with Ukraine. Despite the pressure of a must-win situation. The reigning European champions find themselves in a challenging position after a 3-1 loss to England at Wembley, combined with Ukraine's 3-1 victory over Malta. This has left Italy sitting in third place in Group C with only two qualification fixtures remaining.

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Italy's upcoming matches are crucial. Starting with a face-off against North Macedonia in Rome on November 17, a team that eliminated the Azzurri from the World Cup playoffs the previous year. This is followed by a decisive clash against Ukraine in Leverkusen, Germany, just three days later. Victory for Ukraine would secure their qualification, potentially forcing Italy into the Euro 2024 playoffs.

Despite past disappointments, including missing out on the 2018 and 2022 World Cups due to playoff exits. Coach Spalletti is fully backing his players to rise to the occasion against North Macedonia and Ukraine in the coming month. He stated in a post-match press conference at Wembley, "I am not afraid of anything, and I would be very surprised if the players showed any fear. It's only natural to play games like these, where there is no room for error, no second chances."

Spalletti went on to emphasize that the team's performance at Wembley should not deter them from playing with daring and determination. He acknowledged that situations like the third goal conceded against England required better defending. The Italian squad is focused on pressing the opposition and forcing them to make long passes, but when this occurs. They must exhibit improved defensive capabilities to secure their Euro 2024 qualification.

Italy faces a critical juncture in their Euro 2024 qualification journey. And the coach remains resolute in his belief that his team can overcome the challenges that lie ahead. The upcoming fixtures against North Macedonia and Ukraine are "do-or-die" moments. Italy must rise to the occasion and demonstrate its determination to secure a spot in the tournament.

Italy's Euro 2024 Path: Play-Off Assurance But Automatic Qualification in Sight

Italy is already assured of a Euro 2024 play-off spot. But their path to automatic qualification remains open. With just four points needed from their last two matches, or possibly a single victory over Ukraine. In the race for the Euro 2024 qualification. England has solidified their top position with 16 points.

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Coach Spalletti expressed some concerns about the team's recent performances, stating, "Occasionally our attitude was found wanting. We didn't manage certain situations, and that enabled England to score. We didn't deserve to lose by two goals. But we need to grow as a team. Our decision-making wasn't good enough." Spalletti took over as head coach in August, succeeding Roberto Mancini. Who moved to manage Saudi Arabia.

Spalletti hinted at the possibility of altering Italy's playing style if the current approach proves ineffective, stating. "If we can complete what we are doing with our intention, we can play at a good level. But if we continue to drop to the edge of our box and let the opponent dictate play. We need a radical rethink, go back to square one, and change our mentality as a team, and that will take more time."

In the realm of European club football. Manchester City has impressively secured their place in the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds with a perfect record in the group stage, amassing 12 points from four games. City, under the guidance of Pep Guardiola, is aiming to clinch the top spot in Group G. Worst-case scenario, Italy is well-positioned for the Euro 2024 play-offs, having excelled in their Nations League group.

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Italy and Turkey Secure Hosting Rights for Euro 2032 After Key Developments

European football's governing body approved a joint bid from Italy and Turkey for Euro 2032. Effectively determining the hosts for both Euro 2032 and Euro 2028 as Turkey withdrew from the race for the latter tournament. Italy's recent 3-1 loss to England. Coupled with Ukraine's matching victory over Malta. It has seen the Azzurri slip to third place in Group C with 10 points. However, Italy still has a game in hand compared to Ukraine, which currently sits on 13 points.

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Italy's direct qualification for Euro 2024 hinges on their upcoming fixtures. A win against North Macedonia. Who are already out of the running, on November 17 and at least a draw in the final showdown with Ukraine on November 20 would secure their spot. Italy's advantage stems from their recent 2-1 victory over Ukraine at San Siro. Giving them a superior head-to-head record.

Due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. The game against Ukraine will be played on neutral ground in Leverkusen. In the event of a draw or even a loss against North Macedonia. Italy could still qualify in second place with a win over Ukraine. Thanks to their favorable head-to-head record, resulting in both teams finishing with 13 points.

In related news. UEFA has officially announced that the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland will host the 2028 European Football Championship. Italy and Turkey will be the hosts for the 2032 edition of the tournament.

Italy is currently facing challenges in the striker position. With Ciro Immobile and Mateo Retegui sidelined due to injuries. Scamacca, driven by self-belief, expressed his desire to contribute more goals to the national team. Despite still being in the process of regaining his peak physical condition.

Scamacca also praised Italy's head coach. Luciano Spalletti. Suggests that Spalletti's leadership provides the team with organization, motivation, and the right mentality. He believes that, under Spalletti's guidance, Italy can achieve great things on the Euro 2024 stage.

Italy's Striker Woes: Scamacca Steps Up Amid Injuries for Euro 2024

While Italy and Turkey have secured automatic entry to Euro 2032 as hosts. UEFA has decided not to provide five automatic places for the 2028 hosts. One proposal under consideration involves placing all five host nations into conventional qualifying groups and awarding automatic berths to the two best-performing non-qualifiers.

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Scamacca had been rested for Italy's 4-0 victory over Malta due to his recent return from a month-long absence due to a muscular injury. At Wembley, he made an immediate impact by opening the scoring, but England's Harry Kane netted twice, and Marcus Rashford added another to secure the 3-1 result.

Speaking about the match, Scamacca shared, "We played well and certainly did not deserve this result. It’s a pity, as these games can be turned on so little, and we leave here feeling very sad."

The 2028 bid plan for England encompasses six stadiums. With Wembley Stadium leading the way. Additionally, club venues such as Aston Villa, Manchester City, Newcastle, Tottenham, and Everton's new stadium under construction in Liverpool's docks area are included. National stadiums in Ireland, and Scotland. And Wales will be utilized, along with a proposed new stadium in Belfast. Northern Ireland. Set to replace the derelict Casement Park.

Notably, Euro 2024 in Germany stands as a rare instance in contemporary football of a single host nation for a major tournament. Gianluca Scamacca, who scored his debut senior goal for Italy, expressed his disappointment despite his performance against England. Italy lost the match 3-1, with Scamacca finding the net for his team.

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