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Italy coach Mancini standing by Lazio striker Immobile

Italy coach Roberto Mancini is standing by Lazio striker Ciro Immobile ahead of their World Cup qualifier against Lithuania.

Mancini is under pressure to drop Immobile due to his lack of goals.

But Mancini said: “Stefano Sensi is fine, he had a problem at the beginning of the week and we put him on the sidelines and now he's fine.

Federico Bernardeschi could play, he's a fresh player. Nicolò Barella is on a yellow card, so I am thinking about Matteo Pessina, also for fitness levels.

“I don't worry too much about the latest performances. Psychologically the lads have to feel great, they have won the European Championship and they have to play with composure.

“Unfortunately, the ball sometimes doesn't enter, and we in Italy go to look for a culprit for everything. But we have to isolate ourselves a bit from this and do certain things a bit better and the team has to keep doing what it does, including Immobile. The goals will arrive.

“You know what it seems to me, that we have returned to Mario Balotelli… I have no issue here, we won the Euros with 26 players and Ciro was always first choice. He scored in two games, in others he went close, at times the ball didn't go in, it happens. I tell him to make certain movements, but otherwise I don't see a problem here.

“Immobile has always scored goals, maybe when we get to the World Cup he'll score eight and we'll win the trophy."


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