good morning football fans
Italian manager Roberto Mancini doesn’t like his team making it to the playoffs.
Nevertheless, Mancini is confident that the team he has built can outrun North Macedonia.
“We shouldn’t have been here,” he said on Monday.
“I have talented players who have won from nothing that nobody believes in.
“It doesn’t guarantee a place to the World Cup, but it’s a solid foundation.”
But Giorgio Chiellini has warned his Italian team-mates not to underestimate North Macedonia.
“North Macedonia needs humility because it is no coincidence and there are players we know and recognize in their club football,” he said.
Elsewhere, Gareth Bale has stated that Wales’ important World Cup playoff match against Austria was one of the biggest of his career.
Real Madrid ace said:
“Getting to the World Cup finals is what I want to achieve for the fans and for the country. It’s definitely a great game and we all want to do well.”
Bale was skeptical of today’s match, but after experiencing a few ‘niggles’ declared he had little intention of going.
“I have been training for the past two and a half months.
“I am in a much better shape than when I was out at the last camp for about three months. “I’m ready to run for whatever I need tomorrow,” he said.
And that’s bad news for Bale’s Real Madrid teammate and Austrian star David Alba, who fears Bale could ruin his country’s chances alone.
Alba said: “Gareth can make the game for himself and he’s not always easy to be stopped, but we want to focus on ourselves and our own game.”
However, Spanish media have accused Bale of being ready for the Austrian side but not suitable for Real Madrid’s match against Barcelona last weekend.
The Madrid star has been criticized in Spain as his comeback has been dubbed a ‘the Welsh miracle’.
Another newspaper had a headline ‘I’m no longer sick’.
Finally, Portugal manager Fernando Santos is confident Portugal will win against Turkey.
Santos said: “What has always happened to the Portuguese national team is positive pressure.
“In the two finals we participated in, we won. In the qualifiers, decisive qualifiers, we always responded positively, except for the last qualifier (against Serbia).
“These players are experienced and unaffected.”