A look at the semifinal matches in the World Cup playoffs in Europe on Thursday:
ITALY vs. NORTH MACEDONIA
Italy will have a makeshift defense as it attempts to banish the ghosts of its playoff defeat to Sweden in 2017.
MILAN (AP) — Italy coach Roberto Mancini recalled all the fit players from his European Championship-winning squad on Thursday for the Nations League semifinal against Spain next week.
Only four players are missing from the 26-man squad that beat England in the Euro 2020 final in July: Leonardo Spinazzola, Alessandro Florenzi, Gaetano Castrovilli and Andrea Belotti.
ROME (AP) — Italy coach Roberto Mancini recalled all the fit players from his European Championship-winning squad on Friday while Nicolò Zaniolo returned from a lengthy injury layoff.
Mancini named 34 players in his squad for World Cup qualifiers against Bulgaria, Switzerland and Lithuania, with the injured Leonardo Spinazzola the only absentee from the 26-player squad that beat England in the Euro 2020 final in July.
ROME (AP) — Thousands of fans packed Rome's sidewalks to wildly cheer Europe’s new soccer champions as Italy toured the city in an open-topped bus on Monday evening, crowning a day that saw them honored at the presidential palace and premier's office and cited by the Pope.
TURKU, Finland (AP) — Italy defender Leonardo Spinazzola had surgery on his Achilles tendon on Monday in Finland.
Spinazzola injured the tendon in his left leg in Italy’s 2-1 win over Belgium on Friday in the quarterfinals of the European Championship.
LONDON (AP) — Emerson Palmieri hasn’t exactly taken the conventional route to the European Championship semifinals.
That’s not just a reference to the fact he has made only two Premier League appearances — both as a substitute — for Chelsea this season.
MUNICH (AP) — The in-flight entertainment turned out to be the Spinazzola Serenade.
The loud singing and enthusiastic cheering on Italy’s plane home wasn’t for either of the two players who scored, but for the defender who prevented a goal in the team’s 2-1 victory over Belgium at the European Championship.
LONDON (AP) — With three exquisite touches of control, technique and finishing, Federico Chiesa ended 95 minutes of Italian frustration.
This record-breaking team is off to the quarterfinals of the European Championship with a defense that finally allowed a goal after more than 19 hours but with a national team-record 12th straight victory.