Nations League: Italy vs Netherlands



Heavyweight nations like Italy and the Netherlands went goalless after they met in the UEFA Nations League in Bergamo. Italy was held by Poland and the Netherlands was deadlocked against Bosnia-Herzegovina in the last game, making Group A1 extremely attractive. A look at the recent head-to-head matches from June 9, 2008 tells us that Italy won 3 of these matches with 2 draws. A total of 13 goals were split among the 2 clubs in those clashes, with 7 for the Azzurri and 6 from Oranje.

Mancini made seven changes in the latest match, with Andrea Belotti, Lorenzo Pellegrini and Chiesa coming on. Ciro Immobile was put on the bench for this match with the Netherlands, while defender Giorgio Chiellini was another man pushing for a comeback and Stephan El Shaarawy is fighting Pellegrini and Chiesa for one. the starting rate is on the right wing, assuming Mancini sticks with the preferred 4-3-3 diagram. Federico Chiesa had the best chance of Italy's match in Gdansk from close range in a match with very few clear chances on both sides. The Azzurri's blunt attack performance was in stark contrast to the previous four days, scoring six goals without equalizing against rivals Moldova in a friendly match. Roberto Mancini's side have now drawn 2 and won 1 of 3 matches of Group A1.

Memphis Depay missed out on the Bosnian draw due to a suspension but returns here and will likely lead the squad in place of De Jong. Georginio Wijnaldum was the only midfielder to hold his place in the defeat to Mexico and draw with Bosnia, but it is unlikely he will be rested. After being included in the auxiliary field in the second half in Zenica, Steven Berghuis will take the left wing again. Sunday's draw with Bosnia means that Frank de Boer is still waiting for his first victory since succeeding Ronald Koeman as head coach of the Dutch squad. De Boer kicked off his reign with a disappointing 0-1 defeat to Mexico last week, and his performance at Zenica four days later was not much better. Oranje is currently not winning in 3 games without scoring.




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