Italy take on the visitors England in the round 5 match of UEFA Nations League (League B). The match will be played on Friday, September 23rd at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza (San Siro) (Milan).
Italy national team has given its fans diametrical emotions in recent years. Then "Scuadra Azzurra" was able to become the continental champion and after that there were failures that became stronger and stronger. First there was the defeat of Switzerland in the dispute for 1st place in World Cup qualification. The main shock is the March failure in the form of a home defeat in North Macedonia. The favorite dropped out of the dispute for reaching the world championship already in the 1st round of the playoffs! However, Roberto Mancini retained his post. But, as the summer shows, he could not bring his wards out of the peak quickly. In 4 matches there was only 1 victory, over the nominal outsider of the quartet, Hungary, and they won 2-1 at home. 0-0 away from England can also be added to the asset. But at the same time, they had 1-1 home games with Germany and, most importantly, away defeat 2-5.
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England, it seems, simply ignores the League of Nations. They are preoccupied with her thoughts about their chances in Qatar. Gareth Southgate and his team raised their own expectations. They reached the semi-finals of the World Cup 2018. And last summer they lost the title only on penalties to Italy. True, while evaluating both tournaments, many found reasons to criticize the pragmatic current “three lions”. But still in the UK they hope for an even more powerful breakthrough in November-December. At the same time, England frankly disappointed in the summer. What is the defeat in both fights to the Hungarians. And finally, they lost in their field to a nominal outsider – 0-4! Kane and the company could not score to the Italians. And only 1-1 away from Germany can be called a good result. But there is the risk is to fly out, remaining in 4th place. Only a victory now will allow us to leave this position.
For the past four head-to-heads in a row, the teams have played a draw (if you forget about the decisive penalty shootout at the last Euro). Moreover, the score was 1-1 three times. Bookmakers consider the chances of rivals as almost equal. But it’s even more obvious that Mancini and Southgate’s dispute is unlikely to be spectacular - we bet on “less than 2.5 goals”.
Prediction for the match: Under 2.5 scored goals.