Luciano Spalletti and his Italian team pledged to continue a high-risk approach in Monday’s high-stakes clash with Ukraine in Leverkusen, despite the danger of missing yet another major tournament if they lose.

Italy beat North Macedonia 5-2 on Friday to overtake Ukraine to move to second in the group. Italy needs only a draw to secure automatic qualification for Euro 2024.  

“We are more positive under Spalletti,” said Federico Chiesa who scored twice. “We take a few more risks in defence.”

“We want to play against Ukraine with this mentality.”

The Euro 2020 champions have failed to qualify for the past two World Cups and a loss to Ukraine would see the war-torn Eastern European nation qualify for the Euros, leaving Italy facing a playoff tournament in 2024 to have a shot at defending their title. 

Read the full story on the Times of Malta sports website...

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