The Italy Men’s National Team will be presented with another serious test of themselves on Saturday, taking on Switzerland in a battle for a place in the quarter-finals of this 2024 European Championship.

Having not convinced so far this summer, Luciano Spalletti looks set to make yet more changes to his Azzurri XI for the game against their northern neighbours, from personnel to tactical setup. 

Luciano Spalletti takes training with the Italy Men’s National Team. (@Azzurri)

Italy have reasons to fear Switzerland

Unlike Italy, Switzerland have enjoyed a good Euro 2024 so far and were moments away from advancing as Group A winners ahead of hosts Germany. Only a last-gasp header from Niclas Fullkrug condemned the Swiss to second place and a last-16 tie with Italy

Beyond household names like Bayer Leverkusen‘s Granit Xhaka and the impact of Chicago Fire‘s Xherdan Shaqiri, Switzerland have plenty of players who can cause Italy problems. 

Serie A fans will be familiar with many of their players, and their Bologna contingent of Remo Freuler, Dan Ndoye and Michael Aebischer will demand attention. Ndoye, in particular, has had a good tournament. 

Changing shape… again

Italy are yet to convince at Euro 2024. They fell behind after 23 seconds of their opening game against Albania, they were played off the park and fortunate to lose just 1-0 to Spain, and then needed a Mattia Zaccagni equaliser with the last kick of the game against Croatia to seal second place. 

And so, Spalletti is expected to change his formation again. Having moved away from the 4-2-3-1 used in the first two matches for the game against Croatia, the Azzurri are now likely to line up in a 4-3-3 formation against Switzerland

In attack, both Federico Chiesa and Gianluca Scamacca should return to the Italy XI having been left out against Croatia.  

Time for Fagioli 

The inclusion of Nicolo Fagioli in the Italy squad for Euro 2024 raised eyebrows, with the Juventus midfielder only just returning from a seven-month ban from football. But that Spalletti chose to bring Fagioli would suggest he had a plan to use him. 

Fagioli offers something that not many other Italian players bring to the table. He’s excellent and calm on the ball, while capable of creating something from nothing from midfield. 

Juventus’ Nicolo Fagioli against Atalanta. [@juventusfcen]

Italy predicted XI vs Croatia

Gianluigi Donnarumma; Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Gianluca Mancini, Alessandro Bastoni, Matteo Darmian; Bryan Cristante, Nicolo Fagioli, Nicolo Barella; Federico Chiesa, Gianluca Scamacca, Stephan El Shaarawy.