We didn’t see them at the World Cup earlier this summer, but Italy are back on the big stage. They’re playing in the UEFA Nations League and are expected to go far. But, in order not to disappoint their fans once again, they need to start their campaign in the fifth gear. That means that beating Poland in Bologna this Friday evening is a must. Can they handle the pressure? Find out in this Italy vs Poland match preview!
One of the biggest disasters in Italian football history happened last year when their national team failed to book a spot in the World Cup 2018. As a result, Giampiero Ventura got sacked and Roberto Mancini took his spot. A manager with such an illustrious career like Mancini surely has the skills to turn this team into a winning machine, but we’re yet to see him do it. So far, with Mancini in charge, Italy have played only three friendlies.
But, there’s no doubt that this team has the quality needed to go far in the UEFA Nations League. As always, Italy are super-strong in defense, although there’s no longer Buffon between the posts. Who’s going to take his place remains the question, as three top-class goalies are in the competition – Sirigu, Donnarumma, and Perin.
And in front of the goalkeeper are some really experienced defenders, including Chiellini and Bonucci. Italy also seem very tough in the midfield, although another footballing legend is no longer in the team. I’m talking about De Rossi, who decided to retire from international football after Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup.
But, Italy midfielders have been in sensational form lately, particularly new Chelsea signing, Jorginho. It’s a similar case when it comes to their attack, where they have plenty of top-class players. In fact, Mancini will find it hard to make his decision, but I think we’ll probably see Immobile in the first XI.
Considering that Italy are superb in defense, Poland will have to work really hard in order to beat the keeper. But, their strongest weapon is their attack, where they have legendary Bayern striker, Lewandowski, Napoli’s Milik, and since recently, Genoa’s Piatek. The reason why Piatek got a call is that he’s been plying sensationally since the start of the Serie A. In fact, after three rounds, he’s the top scorer of the league.
What should worry their fans is that Poland seemed pretty uninspiring at the World Cup. To be fair, they did play in a very tough group, together with Senegal, Colombia, and Japan, so it’s not such a huge shock that they failed to advance to the knockout stage.
Same as Italy, Poland also have a new man in charge. Their new manager is Jerzy Brzęczek, a manager who started his coaching career in 2010, but has managed only clubs from Polish leagues. So, it’s fair to say that he doesn’t have too much experience. On top of everything, he still hasn’t made a debut as Poland manager, as this team hasn’t played a single friendly over the summer.
Sirigu – Chiellini, Bonucci, Zapppacosta, Criscito – Jorginho, Cristante, Bonaventura – Chiesa, Insigne, Immobile.
Szczesny – Bednarek, Glik, Bereszynski, Jedrzejczyk – Goralski, Krychowiak, Zielinski, Grosicki, Blaszczykowski – Lewandowski.
Italy vs Poland Match Prediction
Italy need to win this, not because of the points, but because of their pride. And they definitely have better players, better manager, and on top of everything, they play at home.
Italy vs Poland Betting Tips
- Italy @1.75 (bet365)
- Italy to Win to Nil @2.5 (SkyBet)