After starting out in disappointing fashion, manager Antonio Conte has been able to stabilise the Italian national team.
The team has managed six wins in the last nine games and will be targeting a seventh win against Norway in the Euro 2016 qualifying match. A victory from this match will surely guarantee a place in the Euro 2016 competition as the winners of the group. Such a position will surely provide Conte with some much needed time to look at other players. For the time being, the game against Norway is on his mind. The former Juventus manager believes that Norway will not be providing any favours for the 2006 world champions.
Only a few qualifiers ago, Italy looked in danger of missing out on the top spot since Croatia were leading for much of the qualification campaign. However, they have come to form at just the right stage to seal the win. Norway cannot be taken for granted since they are on a high after winning the last three games. Høgmo’s team usually do not play for a draw and this fact is aptly demonstrated by Norway’s sole draw in the qualification campaign. As far as the competition itself is concerned, Conte claimed that Italy will no longer be considered as pretournament favourites due to recent showings.
“We will give Norway our utmost respect: in Rome it will be a great game.For France 2016 we’re not among the favourites, and I can’t tell you whether in Europe we’re among the top four, the top six or the top 18. We’re still growing as a squad and we still have plenty of work to do. But we’re hoping to build our own little war machine,” said Conte. Following this game, Italy have scheduled three friendly games as preparation for the Euro 2016.