Verratti backs Mancini tactics as Italy look to extend winning run

Marco Verratti has backed Roberto Mancini’s tactical reshuffle that sees Jorginho filling a similar role for Italy to the one that has so polarised opinion at Chelsea.

Paris St Germain midfielder Verratti hailed Azzurri boss Mancini’s measured approach play, that sees him and Chelsea star Jorginho sharing deep-lying playmaking responsibilities.

Jorginho became a lightning rod for fan criticism of head coach Maurizio Sarri at Stamford Bridge this term, though the Blues pushed on to seal a third-place Premier League finish and win the Europa League.

Mancini has borrowed from Sarri’s Chelsea playbook to have Jorginho and Verratti sharing the load in launching attacks from deep, with the PSG star expecting big dividends.

“It is a module where both Jorginho and I are called to start the action and then one has to play a little more between the lines,” said Verratti.

“The coach has this idea of playing the ball and being in the other half of the field to score goals.

“In the last five or six games we did very well, always playing in the same way.

“These matches give us confidence and we can say that the experiment was successful.”

Italy face Greece in Athens on Saturday bidding for a third straight win in Euro 2020 qualifiers to keep them top of Group J.

Verratti believes ex-Manchester City boss Mancini has revitalised Italy, and expects the squad to deliver for their manager now.

“We can improve, we are a young team that can still grow,” Verratti told Italy’s official website.

“The coach has created a nice group where everyone feels important and we can go back to where Italy needs to be.

“Mancini gave me the confidence that was important to me, he sees football like me and puts everyone at ease. I hope to repay his trust.”

Greece are expected to recall a host of top names following their 2-1 loss to Turkey in last month’s friendly.

Manager Angelos Anastasiadis can call on the likes of Kostas Mitroglou, Vasilis Torosidis and Sokratis Papastathopoulos as Greece eye positive results from back-to-back home clashes, with Armenia also in Athens on Tuesday night.

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