LONDON- Roberto Mancini’s side are on a five match winless streak and whilst we think they can score in Poland, they might struggle to keep a clean sheet. After failing to win either of their opening matches in the Uefa Nations League, Italy travel to Poland in desperate need of three points.
The Azzurri are bottom of League A’s Group 3 after a draw and a defeat in their opening two matches, with Roberto Mancini’s side yet to score a goal from open play.
Italy’s only goal in their two games so far came from the penalty spot in the 1-1 against Poland last month and the four-time world champions have been on a wretched run in 2018. Robert Lewandowski won his 100th cap for Poland in the 3-2 loss to Portugal on Thursday night and should feature once more.
Federico Bernardeschi scored for Italy in the 1-1 draw against Ukraine on Wednesday night and along with Lorenzo Insigne and Jorginho, he can expect to start again against Poland.
Italy’s poor run over the last 12 months has seen them failed to keep a clean sheet in their last eight matches, with experienced defenders like Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci looking infinitely less convincing for country than they are for their clubs. However, Mancini’s side have managed to score in six of their eight games this year, with four of those eight matches ending in 1-1 scorelines.
Poland, for their part, can generally be relied upon to score, with Jerzy Brzeczek’s team scoring in each of their four matches since the World Cup. Italy’s only win in their last ten matches came against Saudi Arabia back in May, and in their last 15 matches they have only beaten Albania, Israel and Liechtenstein, along with Saudi Arabia.
Russia v Turkey
Stanislav Cherchesov’s Sbornaya host Mircea Lucescu’s Crescent-Stars in Sochi and our tipster fancies the hosts to shine in a high-scoring clash. Russia welcome Turkey to the Fisht Olympic Stadium for a pivotal Nations League clash.
Victory for the hosts would see them move within a point of promotion, whilst simultaneously eliminating their visitors from contention.
Target man Artem Dzyuba was one of Russia’s World Cup stars and the target man looks likely to start here, having netted in the previous meeting.
Technician and set piece specialist Hakan Calhanoglu will be the main threat for Turkey. Russia have scored three or more goals in three of their last seven matches in all competitions while Turkey have kept two clean sheets.
TODAY – NATIONS LEAGUE
Poland vs. Italy,
Russia vs. Turkey,
Israel vs. Albania,
Romania vs. Serbia,
Lithuania vs. Montenegro,