Nazionale A Femminile

Lithuania up next for the Azzurre. Bertolini: "I want tempo and concentration"

Tomorrow on the synthetic pitch in Vilnius at 17:30 CEST Italy will seek their fourth victory in a row in the World Cup qualifiers. Gama: "We're first, but we know there is plenty of room for growth"

Monday, October 25, 2021

Lithuania up next for the Azzurre. Bertolini:

Three wins in as many matches played in Group G, eleven goals scored and zero conceded, these are the numbers that certify Italy's excellent start in qualifying for the 2023 World Cup. To earn direct passage for the tournament to be played in Australia and New Zealand, Italy – much like Mancini's national team - will have to contend with Switzerland, but before focusing on that direct clash, scheduled for November 26 in Palermo, the girls must beat Lithuania in the match that will be played tomorrow at 17:30 CEST at the LFF Stadium in Vilnius.

There is no room for error. Against the team coached by Rimas Viktoravičius, who occupy the 106th position in the FIFA Rankings, the Azzurre will have to take to the pitch with the right attitude, avoiding any dangerous drops in tension. “These are games to be played with great concentration, without assuming that we will win by scoring a lot of goals”, said Milena Bertolini before finishing training. “It won’t be easy, especially with the weather conditions: it will be cold and we will play on astroturf, so we’ll have to approach the game in the best way. I also expect to find an even more closed-off opponent than Croatia, who will give us even less space”.

To overcome Lithuania's tactical plan, the coach will focus on the technical qualities of her players and the depth of the ‘squad' she has at her disposal. For tomorrow's match, they will all be available, with only Rosucci to be evaluated as she is struggling with slight muscle fatigue. “I expect a great tempo from the girls, they will have to be good at alternating the play and passing down the strait. I’m sure that even those who enter the game in progress will contribute. On Friday in Castel di Sangro, the changes accelerated the game and the team found new energy. We’re a very close-knit group and this unity of purpose can also be seen in the availability of the players who start from the bench”.

After the two consecutive victories against the Croatians, Sara Gama instead focused on the aspects on which we will need to work to continue growing: "We can do even better”, said the Italian captain, adding: “but the tempo is also important, because in the last match with the passing of the minutes we lowered it a bit too much. We will come into this match with the utmost respect, knowing that we have to assert our superior technical quality”.

Squad List

Goalkeepers: Rachele Baldi (Roma), Francesca Durante (Inter), Laura Giuliani (AC Milan), Katja Schroffenegger (Fiorentina);

Defenders: Valentina Bergamaschi (AC Milan), Lisa Boattin (Juventus), Lucia Di Guglielmo (Roma), Sara Gama (Juventus), Alia Guagni (Atletico Madrid), Martina Lenzini (Juventus), Elena Linari (Roma), Cecilia Salvai (Juventus), Angelica Soffia (Roma);

Midfielders: Arianna Caruso (Juventus), Valentina Cernoia (Juventus), Aurora Galli (Everton), Giada Greggi (Roma), Martina Rosucci (Juventus);

Forwards: Barbara Bonansea (Juventus), Sofia Cantore (Sassuolo), Valentina Giacinti (AC Milan), Cristiana Girelli (Juventus), Benedetta Glionna (Roma), Valeria Pirone (Roma), Annamaria Serturini (Roma).