This match marks the four-time world champions’ last UEFA Nations League (UNL) fixture of 2018/19, an encounter that Italy must win, and then pray for a Portuguese slip-up when their opponents face already-relegated Poland on November 20. The visitors, however, need just a draw in this one for UNL progression.
The Italians have failed to impress at home this calendar year, with three 1-1 draws on Italian turf following their failure to qualify for the World Cup. Furthermore, the fact that all of Italy’s home goals in that period have arrived after the break hints at a reluctance to put teams to the sword early on. [Read more…]