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Bernardeschi In Line For Italy Start On Wednesday

With Italy already having won Group E, boss Antonio Conte will look to test an alternative starting lineup against Republic of Ireland

Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Antonio Conte is expected to heavily rotate his Italy side on Wednesday evening, the Coach fully aware that the Azzurri have definitely topped Group E regardless of their result against the Republic of Ireland.

Yet while many of the replacements the former Juve boss drafts into his starting XI are obvious, La Gazzetta dello Sport reports that his one dilemma centres on the decision to field either Federico Bernardeschi or Stephan El Shaarawy as a wing-back.

Given that - despite playing on opposite flanks - both are very attack-minded players and Conte is looking to balance the side with a more defensive player lining up across from them, likely to be Alessandro Florenzi of AS Roma.

El Shaarawy was bought in full by the Giallorossi on Tuesday, the club paying AC Milan €13 million for the 23 year old who has scored three times in 19 appearances for Italy. If Fiorentina man Bernardeschi is given the nod, it would mark only the fifth time he has pulled on the Azzurri jersey, having only made his debut back in March.