After being held to a 1-1 draw against North Macedonia in his first game in charge of the Italy National Team, newly appointed manager Luciano Spalletti will hope to secure his first win as the Azzurri boss when his side face Ukraine tonight in a UEFA Euro Qualifiers match at the San Siro.
Following the 1-0 defeat to North Macedonia in the World Cup qualifying playoff, Italy hoped to get some revenge in their first meeting between the two sides since that fateful day. They looked on course to securing redemption when Ciro Immobile headed home in the 47th minute to give the visitors the lead but Enis Bardhi’s 81st-minute equaliser spoiled the party for the Italians in their last match.
The draw in their previous game saw the Azzurri slip to 3rd place in Group C behind England and Ukraine. However, Italy will aim to shruff off the blues from their performances in the Euro qualifiers and secure the win against tonight’s visitors, which would see them climb to second place in their group standings.
Meanwhile, Ukraine have posted a cheerful run of results in the Euro qualifiers till now. The international break in June saw them pick consecutive victories against North Macedonia and Malta, helping them cruise to secure second place in the group standings.
Sergiy Rebrov’s side will feel the positive momentum heading into the game against Italy as they managed to hold The Three Lions to a 1-1 draw in their previous match. Oleksandr Zinchenko opened the scoring in the 26th minute but Kyle Walker equalised in the 41st minute to end the match in a stalemate.
Ukraine’s objective would be to collect a point against tonight’s hosts as they have never managed to topple them in eight meetings.
Results from their last five matches across all competitions
D W L W L
D W W D L
Federico Chiesa, Lorenzo Pellegrini, Gianluca Mancini and Matteo Politano will miss the match with injuries.
Luciano Spalletti has opted to add Bologna’s Riccardo Orsolini to the squad for the match.
As for Ukraine, Nikolai Matvienko is a major doubt after he was forced off the field with an injury against England.
It will be a race against time for Mykhaylo Mudryk to be deemed fit for the game after he was withdrawn with a calf issue against The Three Lions.
Italy (4-3-3): Donnarumma; Di Lorenzo, Scalvini, Bastoni, Dimarco; Barella, Cristante, Tonali; Zaniolo, Zaccagni, Immobile
Ukraine (4-5-1): Bushchan; Konoplya, Zabarnyi, Kryvstov, Mykolenko; Tsgankov, Stepanenko, Sudakov, Zinchenko, Mudryk; Yaremchuk
Trambak Bhattacherjee | GIFN