Wed 23 March 2022 | 19:07

Mancini: No favourites in World Cup play-offs

Italy coach is focused only on game against North Macedonia.

Roberto Mancini



will not think about Portugal and their only focus is on Thursday's play-off semi-final with North Macedonia as they aim to qualify for

World Cup

in Qatar.

"We all start the same; each game is 0-0 and anything can happen in those 90 minutes,"

Mancini said at Wednesday's pre-match news conference.

"It's an obvious thing to say, but you have to play each game. I don't think there are favourites in these matches. North Macedonia defend well and have good technique. Don't forget they won away to Germany in the qualifiers. We need patience, but it starts from 0-0."

Italy failed to qualify for the last World Cup after losing to Sweden in the play-offs. There are nine players in the current squad who experienced that heartbreak but Mancini is unsure if that works in his side's favour.

"I don't know if it can act as an advantage. This is part of the life of a sportsman. There are exciting moments in your career and others of disappointment.

We just have to be focused on what we have to do. Italy know how to play football and we have to just think about ourselves, not other things.”

he said.

If Italy overcome North Macedonia, they then face either Portugal or Turkey in next week's final.


source: SportMob

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