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The Azzurri went straight to work the day after securing qualification to the Round of 16 of the Euro.

The Italian FA (FIGC) released a statement today on the proceedings at Montpellier. Italy do have an injury concern to worry about as Antonio Candreva has suffered a hamstring problem.

Fortunately, the last game of the group stage will count for nothing as not only have the Azzurri secured qualification to the knockout stage, they’ve also won the group with a game to spare. Meaning several key players can be rested before the beginning of the knockout rounds. 

After yesterday’s win over Sweden paved the way for qualification to the round of 16 at Euro 2016, Italy were back in training this morning at the Bernard Gasset centre. Today’s sole session was carried out in cold and wet conditions. Training began with a short speech from Antonio Conte and the team were watched by children from local football schools in Montpellier. Antonio Candreva didn’t take part in training after picking up a hamstring problem at the end of the game with Sweden. He underwent tests to evaluate his condition and the medical staff will monitor his progress day by day.

The squad was divided in two with yesterday’s starters forming one group and unused players and substitutes forming the other. The first group had a light workout to help them recover with a few laps of the pitch and athletic exercises while the other group worked with the ball. The Azzurri then played a six-a-side. Marchetti, Ogbonna, Thiago Motta, Bernardeschi, El Shaarawy and Zaza were on one side in blue against Sirigu, Darmian, De Sciglio, Sturaro, Immobile and Insigne. The blue side won 5-4 with Thiago Motta scoring two, including the decisive goal and he was embraced by all his teammates. Salvatore Sirigu put in a starring performance as he made a number of spectacular saves. After the end of training, he was called over by the children from Montpellier’s youth system and he stopped to sign autographs and take photos.

The Azzurri have the afternoon off and at 17:00 CEST they could find out where they will be playing in the round of 16 before the final game against the Republic of Ireland on Wednesday 22nd June. Belgium will play Ireland at 15:00 CEST in Bordeaux and a win for the Red Devils or a draw would see Italy top the group, meaning the first knockout fixture will be on Monday 27th June at 18:00 CEST at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis versus the second-placed side from Group D.


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