Italy launch new BBC attack

Italy are expected to start Federico Chiesa, Andrea Belotti and Federico Bernardeschi in the Nations League trip to Portugal, but the system could vary.

It kicks off on Monday at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT) and follows on from the 1-1 home draw with Poland on Friday.

Coach Roberto Mancini said he would make some changes to the line-up and Mario Balotelli is the first to leave the starting XI, partly due to a muscular problem, partly because his performance was widely criticised as being sluggish and ineffective.

Lorenzo Insigne would also be pushed to the bench, with Domenico Criscito now fit enough to take over the left-back slot from Cristiano Biraghi.

Torino striker Belotti came off the bench against Poland and is the favourite ahead of Ciro Immobile to lead the line.

Chiesa changed the game as a substitute and earned the penalty that Jorginho converted to equalise, so the Fiorentina winger is also likely to start with Juve’s Bernardeschi in a new BBC attacking trident.

However, La Gazzetta dello Sport suggests there could also be a shift away from the 4-3-3 formation to a 4-2-3-1.

That would use Chiesa, Bernardeschi and Giacomo Bonaventura fanning out behind Belotti.

There are big changes in midfield, where Jorginho seems to be the only certainty.

Roberto Gagliardini is, somewhat unexpectedly, a favourite to retain his spot too, with Marco Benassi and Nicolò Barella fighting Roma’s Lorenzo Pellegrini for a starting role.

Probable line-ups

Portugal (4-3-3): Patricio; Cancelo, Pepe, Ruben Dias, Mario Rui; Pizzi, Ruben Neves, William; Bernardo Silva, Andre Silva, Rony Lopes

Italy (4-3-3): Donnarumma; Zappacosta, Bonucci, Chiellini, Criscito; Benassi (Barella), Jorginho, Gagliardini; Bernardeschi, Belotti, Chiesa


Italy (4-2-3-1): Donnarumma; Zappacosta, Bonucci, Chiellini, Criscito; Jorginho, Gagliardini; Chiesa, Bernardeschi, Bonaventura; Belotti

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