Italy vs Belgium is Head to head today. An interesting clash is on tap for Sunday as Italy and Belgium play for third place in the 2020-21 UEFA Nations League in Turin, Italy. Belgium is the No. 1 team in the world and will be disappointed after another missed chance for its golden generation to win some silverware. The Belgians suffered a heartbreaking 3-2 loss to France in Thursday’s semifinal.
UEFA Nations League
Italy vs Belgium
Date: Sunday, October 10, 2021, Time: 9 a.m. ET
Venue: Juventus Stadium
Italy has been coming off a memorable summer that saw them being crowned as the European champions at the end of an imperious run at UEFA Euro 2020. The Azzurri have indeed been on a resurgent run since the appointment of Roberto Mancini, losing just thrice in 43 games. However, unfortunately for Italy, the third defeat came in the UEFA Nations League semi-final against Spain earlier this week.
Italy vs Belgium Head-to-head encounters
Throughout history, the teams have played each other in 23 games. The Italians have 15 wins, the Belgians have been stronger in four games, and the other four ended in a draw. The goal difference is also on the side of the Azzurri, 45-25. The last time the rivals met was on July 2, 2021, when Italian players celebrated the victory in the quarterfinals of Euro 2020, 2-1.
- Roberto Mancini will shuffle his pack for Sunday’s dead-rubber third place play-off.
- Leonardo Bonucci is unavailable anyway due to suspension after his red card in midweek.
- Gianluigi Donnarumma was jeered by home fans and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he was taken out of the firing line here.
- Lorenzo Pellegrini has been in superb form for Roma this season and scored off the bench against Spain in midweek. He will almost certainly start here.
- Manuel Locatelli should also come in to the starting fold here, with Marco Verratti and Nicolo Barella most likely dropping out.
Since their penalty shootout glory at Wembley in the summer, something of a hangover has befallen Italy in their subsequent matches; the latest of which was Wednesday’s disappointing defeat to Spain in the Nations League semi-finals.
The Azzurri’s cherished 37-game unbeaten run came to a definitive end at San Siro, as they crashed out to a side that particularly troubled them at the same stage of the Euros before they squeezed through in a spot-kick showdown.
Here, in Turin, Italy takes on a Belgium team who have again failed to reach the final of an international tournament, taking part in their second third-place play-off after losing to France in the semi-finals of the Nations League; just as they did in the semi-finals of the World Cup in 2018.
Italy’s run of 37 games unbeaten was stopped by Spain in a 2-1 defeat at San Siro, while Belgium threw away a 2-0 lead against France at the Allianz Stadium in Turin.
The broadcaster has revealed the 28-year-old striker has left the Belgium retreat today and will miss the next match against the Azzurri.
It is difficult to see Roberto Mancini rotating his side too heavily, perhaps Manuel Locatelli will come in to play in midfield, but the front three thrive on fluidity and rhythm, and the former Manchester City boss will be keen to keep that going.
The Belgian backline is aging, too, but Jan Vertonghen, 34, and Toby Alderweireld, 32, have spent years together in international and club play. They have the experience to thwart any challenges, and Italy doesn’t have strikers of the quality of France’s Kylian Mbappe and Karim Benzema. Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is one of the world’s best.
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