UEFA Nations League PREVIEW: Germany v Italy | Matchday 4

Borussia Park hosts a fascinating contest between Germany and Italy on Tuesday in Azzurri’s final game in this international window.

The ongoing series of international fixtures started on a sorry note for Roberto Mancini’s men, with a miserable Italy suffering a 3-0 defeat to Argentina in the latest edition of Finalissima. The turnaround took place against Germany, with a much-improved performance ensuring a 1-1 draw for the men in blue. Although Germany rued a significant number of missed opportunities in front of the goal, the European champions needed that one point.

In the next game, they beat an awe-inspiring Hungary to clinch the top spot in their respective group. While Italy could have taken three points from England in the following fixture and should have extended the lead and the gap at the top of the table, another stalemate means Italy have now five points from three matches.

In terms of recent results, the German side has witnessed a steady sequence of draws, with Hansi Flick’s forward line drawing severe criticism. These low-key displays in recent times could play the role of the two-edged blade for Italy.

Results in the last five games:

Germany: W-D-D-D-D

Italy: W-L-D-W-D

Team News

Serge Gnabry remains a doubt ahead of the game. Reports in Germany claim that Flick has been disappointed with the individual performances of several star players, including Leroy Sané and Timo Werner. Chelsea star Kai Havertz could lead the line for the Germans on Tuesday.

Italy expect another radically-changed line-up from Mancini this time. Roma captain Lorenzo Pellegrini has been extremely eye-catching so far. He could keep his berth on the starting team sheet along with Gianluca Scamacca.

Predicted XIs

Germany (3-4-2-1): Neuer; Klostermann, Süle, Rüdiger; Hofmann, Kimmich, Gündoğan, Raum; Sané, Müller; Havertz

Italy (4-3-3-): Donnarumma; Florenzi, Mancini, Bastoni, Biraghi; Frattesi, Tonali, Barella; Politano, Scamacca, Pellegrini

Neither has managed to secure a victory in the last three meetings between the two teams. Could anyone create the exception on Tuesday? Time will tell.

Jyotirmoy Halder

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