After a weekend of contrasting fortunes, Ireland and Italy were expected to make changes for tonight’s Euro 2016 match in Lille for very different reasons.
Antonio Conte can afford to take his foot off the gas a bit, safe in the knowledge that his Italy side are through to the last sixteen as group winners.
Martin O’Neill, meanwhile, had some big decisions to make following Ireland’s 3-0 defeat at the hands of Belgium on Saturday.
O’Neill makes four changes for tonight’s game, with Richard Keogh, Shane Duffy, James McClean and Daryl Murphy coming in for John O’Shea, Ciaran Clark, Glenn Whelan and Wes Hooloahan.
— FAIreland (@FAIreland) June 22, 2016
The Ireland manager has made some massive calls there – dropping O’Shea and Hoolahan in particular are going to divide opinion – but that will all be forgotten about if the Boys in Green get the result they need.
Italy also make a few alterations to the side which beat Sweden 1-0 last Friday to confirm their passage through to the next round.
Goalscorer Éder is out, as is strike partner Graziano Pelle, replaced by Simone Zaza and Ciro Immobile.
Italy team: Sirigu, De Sciglio, Ogbonna, Zaza, Florenzi, Motta, Immobile, Sturaro, Barzagli, Bonucci (c), Bernardeschi. #COYBIG
— Irish News Sport (@irishnewssport) June 22, 2016
West Ham’s Angelo Ogbonna, Federico Bernardeschi, Stefano Sturaro, Thiago Motta, Mattia De Sciglio and Salvatore Sirigu also come into the side as Conte makes eight changes in total.