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Reports: Moise Kean to start Italy’s Euro 2020 qualifier against Finland

Italy Training Session And Press Conference Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images

On the final day of February, Moise Kean celebrated his 19th birthday. Since that day, which has basically been the entire month of March up until this point, Kean has had one of the most memorable stretches of his very, very young career.

There’s been his first career brace in a Juve jersey in his first start in nearly two months against Udinese. There was his just-missed goal that would have been the game-winner in Juventus second-leg comeback win over Atlético Madrid. And, this time last weekend, Kean found out that he was once again part of Italy’s squad for the Azzurri’s first international games of the calendar year.

Now, it appears that Kean’s month is going to get even more interesting.

According to a good number of Italy’s big daily newspapers like Corriere dello Sport, La Gazzetta dello Sport and Tuttosport, Kean is set to make his first career senior-level start for Italy in Saturday night’s UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying match against Finland in Udine. If it does indeed happens — which, at this point, seems like a pretty damn good possibility — Kean would be the first-ever player born in the 2000s to start for Italy.

Italy manager Roberto Mancini had this to say when asked about Kean during his pre-match press conference on Friday:

“We’ll see who plays tomorrow. I expect Kean to do what he does best. He doesn’t have Insigne’s experience, but does bring physicality, enthusiasm and an eye for goal. We hope he’ll bring joy to the team.”

(Source: Football Italia)

Ah, it looks like Mancini has gone to the Max Allegri School of Starting Lineup Quotes.

Mancini has been dealing with a good number of injuries up front in attack, with both Federico Chiesa and Lorenzo Insigne both missing out on Saturday night’s game. That means Mancini has two logical starters not healthy enough to be available for selection and that the assumed candidates to start has basically been cut down to a quartet of Kean, Federico Bernardeschi, Ciro Immobile and Fabio Quagliarella.

The general consensus amongst the Italian press is that Mancini will go with a 4-3-3, with Kean and Bernardeschi playing on either side of Immobile. Not that Kean is a natural winger or anything close to it, but he’s got both the speed and the athletic ability to be a threat wherever he’s played in attack.

Either way, Kean’s month of March seems to be getting that much better. And hey, if March continues to treat him well, maybe April and May will continue to be on an uptick.