UEFA Nations League: Poland vs Italy preview

Poland and Italy will be hoping to record their first victory in the UEFA Nations League when they meet at Stadion Slaski in Chorzow on Sunday. The two sides have already met in this competition in September and the match played in Bologna ended 1-1 after Piotr Zielinski opened the scoring for Poland and Jorginho made it all square for Italy from the penalty spot. Overall, Italy have won three of the last six direct matches in all competitions, while Poland have won just one of the last nine matches against Italy. Also, the Italians have scored at least once in each of the last three matches against Poland.

Poland are in a crucial moment in the UEFA Nations League, if they don't win against Italy on Sunday then their chances to advance to the next round would go down to a flat zero. Moreover, if they lose this match they could finish last in the group and get relegated to the second tier of the competition. They started out with the good 1-1 draw in Italy in September, but this week they were defeated 3-2 at home by Portugal even though they had opened the scoring early on through Krzysztof Piatek. The Genoa forward will most likely be given a place in the starting eleven again, alongside star striker Robert Lewandowski.

Italy are still struggling to overcome the disappointment of having missed the 2018 World Cup, and getting relegated from the top tier of the UEFA Nations League would be another slap in the face for them. The 1-1 draw at home against Poland was followed by a 1-0 defeat in Portugal three days later, so now the Italians have to win the match against the Poles in order to preserve any chances of finishing at the top of the group table. This week they played a friendly match against Ukraine but they were unable to win it, it ended 1-1. Federico Bernardeschi scored for Italy in that match and he will most likely keep his place in the starting eleven ahead of Lazio striker Ciro Immobile.

Probable line-ups:

Poland: Fabianski - Kedziora, Glik, Bednarek, Jedrzejczyk - Blaszczykowski, Krychowiak, Zielinski, Kurzawa - Piatek, Lewandowski

Italy: Donnarumma - Florenzi, Bonucci, Chiellini, Biraghi - Pellegrini, Jorginho, Verratti - Chiesa, Bernardeschi, Insigne

My prediction: 1-1 draw, none of these two teams seems strong enough to win this match and both will be more afraid of relegation than determined to fight for qualification.

Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:

Poland win - 2.75
Draw - 3.10
Italy win - 2.62

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