Italy coach Antonio Conte has revolutionised the Azzurri since taking charge in the summer, above all reducing the average age and showing faith in young, talented players such as Simone Zaza in attack.
However, he has not shied away from more experienced players either, naming Emiliano Moretti in his current squad – at the age of 33. With Angelo Ogbonna out injured, the Torino FC defender may even make his debut tonight having last appeared for Italy's Under-21s over ten years ago.
Croatia coach Niko Kovač suggested the game would not go ahead if the conditions were like they were on Saturday, but fortunately the skies over Milan have cleared and the sun has been out today, ensuring good conditions, even if the temperature is expected to drop significantly come kick-off.
La Gazzetta dello Sport has listed ten reasons why tonight's clash between Italy and Croatia 'must not be missed'. Among those is the startling fact that Italy have not beaten Croatia in 72 years, and only one of the the seven meetings between the two nations has ended goalless.
It may well have been with that in mind that San Siro was chosen as the venue for tonight's encounter. In 54 games held in Milan, Italy have won 37, drawn 15 and lost only twice, those defeats coming against Hungary in 1911 and 1925.
|Daniele De Rossi||2||0|
|2002/04||Final tournament - Group stage||11||6||4||1|
|1994/96||Final tournament - Group stage||13||8||3||2|
|Full UEFA competition record|
|UEFA European Football Championship||135||72||44||19|
|FIFA World Cup||180||112||44||24|