European rivals France and Italy face off in an international friendly on Thursday before the 2018 FIFA World qualifying matches starts this weekend. Here are all the things you need to know for the France vs. Italy international friendly including previews, schedule, and live stream links.
France will be playing their first game since losing the final of the 2016 European championships against Portugal. Manager Didier Deschamps told World Soccer Talk that the loss is behind them but they are going to use it as motivation for their future matches until the 2018 World Cup.
“The Euros are behind us. My wish is to make use of it, yes, but not for us to focus too much on it. When we play neighboring countries, such as Germany, Spain, and England, there is this healthy rivalry. It will be a glamour game,” Deschamps said.
On the other hand, Italy is going to play under new manager Giampiero Ventura, who replaced Antonio Conte. The 68-year-old will continue to use Conte’s 3-5-2 formation while also looking forward to the challenge of qualifying for the World Cup in Russia.
The Blues are without captain Hugo Lloris, who is out with an injury, as well as defender Bacary Sagna. However, Deschamps decided to inject some new blood into the team including Borussia Dortmund starlet, Ousmane Dembele.
As for The Azzurri, they are without Leonardo Bonucci, who left the squad due to personal reasons. Ricardo Montolivo was also called up after not getting selected to the 23-man EURO roster by Conte, per Football Italia.
France vs. Italy Predicted Lineups
- France: (4-3-3) Benoit Costil; Sebastien Corchia, Laurent Koscielny, Samuel Umtiti, Layvin Kurzawa; N’Golo Kante, Yohan Cabaye, Paul Pogba; Antoine Griezmann, Oliver Giroud, Dmitri Payet
- Italy: (3-5-2) Gianluigi Buffon; Daniel Rugani, Andrea Barzagli, Giorgio Chiellini; Alessandro Florenzi, Marco Parolo, Ricardo Montolivo, Marco Verratti, Mattia De Sciglio; Graziano Pelle, Eder Citadin Martins
France vs. Italy TV Schedule
- Date: September 1, 2016
- Time: 9:00 PM CET, 3:00 PM ET, 12:00 PM PT
- Venue: Stadio San Nicola in Bari, Italy
- Channel: ESPN 3, ESPN Deportes
France vs. Italy Live Stream Links