Sport Euro 2016

Monday 23 October 2017

Italy boss Antonio Conte confirms the news that every single Irish fan was hoping for

Will Slattery

Will Slattery

Italy maintained their stellar start to Euro 2016 with a second straight win this afternoon but Ireland could end up benefiting from the Azzurri's brilliant form as much as Antonio Conte's men do.

Italy booked their place in the last 16 after Eder struck late to snatch a 1-0 victory against Sweden in Toulouse this afternoon, and the result will have a knock-on effect on Ireland's clash with the winners next Wednesday.

The Boys in Green will be hopeful of getting a positive result against a struggling - if star-studded - Belgium side, but Antonio Conte's post-match press conference will act as a lifeline for Martin O'Neill's men even if they are beaten tomorrow.

Read more: Italy strike late against Sweden to give Ireland's qualification hopes a big boost

The Italian boss confirmed to the media that he will use the Ireland clash as a chance to give game time to other members of his squad, so we can expect to see the group leaders line up without a host of regulars.

Obviously Irish fans would prefer if the team could get the three points tomorrow which would see them advance to the second round, but if progression to the knockout stages comes against a weakened Italian outfit, no supporters will be complaining.

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