Antonio Conte has confirmed that he will rest some of his key players against the Republic of Ireland after Italy claimed a place in the knockout stages with a dramatic 1-0 defeat of Sweden.

The Azzurri face Ireland in their final group game on Wednesday, safe in the knowledge that they have booked a place in the last 16, and Conte's quotes after the game will be music to Irish fans' ears.

The soon-to-be Chelsea manager said he would use the final group game to "give time to those who had less of it until now", with several key men likely to be rested.

Those likely include defenders Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci, midfielder Daniele de Rossi and Swedish heartbreaker Eder, all of whom are a yellow card away from missing Italy's last-16 tie.

Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon is also on a booking after being shown yellow for time wasting against the Swedes.

Meanwhile, Emanuele Giaccherini insisted Italy's victory in Toulouse proved they have "cojones".

Conte's squad had been criticised for being among the worst national teams in Italy's history in the build-up to Euro 2016, but they have already progressed to the knockout stages after Eder's 88th-minute finish secured their second straight win.

Group E leaders Italy next face the Republic of Ireland in their final group fixture on Wednesday, when second-placed Sweden meet Belgium. Ireland and fourth-placed Belgium play on Saturday.

"This Italy side proved it has cojones," said Giaccherini, who scored in their impressive 2-0 defeat of Belgium.

"(This) game was far more difficult compared to Belgium, as we knew Sweden would sit deep and refuse to give us any spaces. They made it hard for us to find width too.

"We felt rather nervous and anxious in the first half, as we felt the pressure of the occasion, but we did much better as time wore on and deserved the victory."

"This Italy side proved it has cojones"

Eder's goal came after a classy run through Sweden's defence, and he spoke of the satisfaction he has taken from Italy's team spirit.

"It was a joyful moment. (Fellow forwards Lorenzo) Insigne and (Ciro) Immobile didn't play, but they came on to hug me at the end and that shows our closeness", he said.

"I dedicate this goal to the whole group, everybody who has worked with us this last year and a half and been here from 18 May, because we've prepared well, so I dedicate this goal to the whole group."

Sweden, whose performance was superior to that in the 1-1 draw with Ireland, are regardless on the brink of elimination and must defeat Belgium next week to stand any chance of progressing.

"We had the chance with Zlatan (Ibrahimovic), but we didn't create enough difficulties in the end," said coach Erik Hamren. "They worked hard, but we didn't do enough for a draw.

"We had a few chances, but we didn't score, however we played against a team that defends very well, even Belgium didn't succeed in scoring against Italy.

"Sure, it would've been better to have more chances, but I assure you that we tried, but the defence did their job."