Nations League: Italy vs Bos-Herze



Italy will begin their UEFA Nations League 2020-21 campaign with their clash with Bosnia-Herzegovina in Florence on Friday night. It was Italy's first match since beating Armenia 9-1 in Euro 2020's qualifiers in November, while Bosnia ended their qualifying campaign with Liechtenstein on the same night.

Italy will not be able to call Federico Bernardeschi for the next two games because the Juventus attacker was forced out of the squad due to a muscle injury. Napoli's Lorenzo Insigne is also absent due to an ankle injury, but a strong squad is expected to include names like Leonardo Bonucci, Jorginho and Ciro Immobile. The two stars Federico Chiesa and Nicolo Zaniolo could also be in the starting lineup, though Sandro Tonali was eliminated when the midfielder switched to AC Milan. Italy failed to do their best in the opening UEFA Nations League, finishing second behind Portugal in their group, winning just 1 of their four matches and having 5 points. However, head coach Roberto Mancini stressed the importance of making an impression in the latest tournament, and the Azzurri will enter Friday's clash in excellent form as they are currently on a streak of 11 consecutive wins - an all-time record. Mancini's team made it through the Euro 2020 qualifiers, won all of their 10 matches, scored 37 goals and conceded only 4 times in an excellent campaign.

On the Bosnian side, Roma striker Edin Dzeko is expected to lead the squad, and the 34-year-old will look to add to the 58 goals he has scored at international level. The second most scorer on the team is Edin Visca with 10 goals, and he is likely to be handed a defensive position, with Armin Hodzic also expected to feature. Arsenal's Sead Kolasinac and Everton's Muhamed Besic should also feature for the visitors, who have won 1 and lost 2 of their previous three encounters with Italy. Bosnia won promotion to League A in this tournament by topping Group 3 of League B last time, earning 10 points after 4 matches with Austria and Northern Ireland. The dragons competed in the 2014 World Cup but never got a ticket to the Euro final after losing to Portugal and the Republic of Ireland in the recent playoffs.




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