Antonio Conte tells Italy how to overcome Romelu Lukaku’s Belgium at Euro 2020

June 30th, 2021 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Antonio Conte explains how Italy can beat Belgium and insists the Red Devils’ performance against Portugal was ‘not convincing.’

Conte was in charge of the Azzurri five years ago, when Italy beat Belgium in their debut game of Euro 2016.

“Italy are on par with Belgium, we can create trouble for them, win and qualify for the next stage,” Conte wrote in a letter published on La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“The victories in the group stage games showed a quality that gave us many expectations. The match against solid Austria was challenging,” the former Inter coach continued.

The Azzurri needed extra time to beat Austria in the last 16 stage last week and will meet Belgium in the quarter-finals at Munich’s Allianz Arena on Friday.

“Sometimes narrow wins can be even more useful than easy victories because they make you understand what the group already knows: there is no room for mistakes,” said Conte.

“Every movement, every pass, every tackle is decisive, and the same goes for the psychological aspect of the game. Details are often crucial in these games, and every player must offer his qualities to the group.”

Conte is an admirer of Romerlu Lukaku and pushed Inter to sign him three years ago, when he completed an €84m switch from Manchester United.

The Italian tactician warns the Belgian star could be decisive, although he won’t be the only factor that will shift the balance.

“Our national team has proved to have an identity that some teams still don’t have. Belgium are a strong team, singularly and collectively. Lukaku is a force of nature, but I do not reinvent the wheel when I say that the presence or absence of [Kevin] De Bruyne and [Eden] Hazard could make the difference.

“I respect Roberto Martinez for what he’s done during the last few years, but Belgium’s performance against Portugal was not convincing, both defensively and in terms of aggression.

“We can create trouble for them on the wings and Jorginho’s tempo will be crucial in the middle of the park.

“Mancini needs no advice, Italian tacticians are very prepared tactically and Roberto will pick a team that will be able to manage every situation.”

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