Thursday, December 2, 2021

Preview: Italy – Romania

SoccerNews in European Championships 12 Jun 2008

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After being crushed by the Netherlands in their opening match, world champions Italy won’t be happy with anything less than victory against Romania.

Italy manager Donadoni is aware of the situation and changed his squad in no less than seven positions ahead of the second match.

One of those changes seems to be the addition of Fabio Grosso to the starting line-up. The defender, who scored that important goal against Germany in the semi finals of the World Cup two years ago, proved to be one of the more motivated players against the Dutch.

Grosso stresses that Italy still have a chance to advance from this ‘Group of Death’: “I consider myself a squad player and all 23 of us are pulling together to try and achieve the same goal. We must all prove that we’re in form.

“The strength of this side has always been our team spirit and our squad mentality. Whether we win, lose or draw we’re all in it together and against Romania we will do our best to prove how united we still are and show that we are good enough to win.”

Romania, who held France to a goalless draw in their opening match on Sunday, will aim to take advantage of the dented confidence of the Italians.

But midfielder Razvan Cocis refuses to underestimate the Azzurri: “Italy will be hurt after losing so heavily. They are world champions so we will have to be careful.”

The Romanians will probably be without Ciprian Marica. The striker suffered a concussion in training and was ordered to rest for a couple of days.

Italy and Romania last met in the qualification for the 2002 World Cup, in which Italy won both matches rather easily. Romania last beat the Italians in a Euro 84 qualification match.

Tom Henning Ovrebo will be the referee for this match. The Norwegian is assisted by Geir Age Holen and Jan Petter Randen as linesmen and Croatian Ivan Bebek as fourth official.

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