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Tuesday, October 22
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Mar 23, 2019 at 7.45pm UK
Italy
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Finland
Barella (7'), Kean (74')
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Italy's Nicolo Barella wary of Finland threat in Euro 2020 qualifying

:Headline: Italy's Nicolo Barella wary of Finland threat in Euro 2020 qualifying:
The Italians failed to reach last year's World Cup.
PA | 7mo

Nicolo Barella believes Italy face a tricky start to their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign against Finland.

The 22-year-old Cagliari midfielder is one of the newcomers in Roberto Mancini's Italy squad as they look to bounce back after missing out on last summer's World Cup.

A play-off defeat to Sweden kept Italy out of the tournament for the first time since 1958.

Mancini's men start as Group J favourites as they turn their attention to the European Championship, but Barella is taking nothing for granted in Saturday's opening qualifier against Finland.

"Finland is a compact team and strong off the ball," he said at a press conference according to the national team's website.

"They will wait for our mistakes and we will have to be careful."

On the development of young players by the manager, he added: "Mancini is giving us so much and trust is the most important thing."

Italy will be without Roma's Alessandro Florenzi and Fiorentina forward Federico Chiesa.

Left-back Cristiano Biraghi told the national team website: "We have a difficult race ahead, but we have to win."

Finland travel to Udine on the back of topping a Nations League group that contained Hungary, Greece and Estonia, and they will look to carry on that momentum against the Italians.

Captain Tim Sparv believes Markku Kanerva's side will have to start strong and defend well to secure something from the game.

Sparv told the national team's website: "The last couple of years have been difficult for them, they will certainly be motivated to play against us.

"If we keep our shape and defend as a team, we have a good chance to make life in Italy difficult."

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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool98102171425
2Manchester CityMan City96122992019
3Leicester CityLeicester9522168817
4Chelsea95221914517
5Arsenal94321312115
6Crystal Palace9423810-214
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs93331513212
8Burnley93331211112
9Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd933387112
10Bournemouth93331313012
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham93331113-212
12Aston Villa93241513211
13Wolverhampton WanderersWolves92521212011
14Manchester UnitedMan Utd9243109110
15Everton9315813-510
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton9234912-39
17Southampton9225916-78
18Newcastle UnitedNewcastle9225514-98
19Norwich CityNorwich92161021-117
20Watford9045521-164
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