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Sports

Italy’s Prospects in UEFA Nations League 2024/25

It remains to be seen if Italy can retain their status as European champions this summer after emerging victorious in the Covid-hit 2020 tournament, but they remain one of the strongest teams in the tournament. For months after Euro 2024, Italy can earn a spot at the Euro 2028 tournament if they are winners in the Nations League.

Fixture Schedule and Match Previews

France vs. Italy Friday, September 6 

One of the biggest matches in the Nations League groups stages. France will host Italy with Kylian Mbappe now almost certainly a Real Madrid player and looking to demonstrate what he has learned at the biggest club in the world. Italy will hope to emerge with at least a point but they will have a tough time keeping a clean sheet.

Israel vs. Italy Monday, September 9 

Italy have to play two consecutive away matches in the opening fixtures of the group, and Israel can be a tough place to go for visiting sides. If Italy lose to France then the pressure will be on to get a win against a team who are far weaker on paper, but pressure does funny things to players.

Italy vs. Belgium Thursday, October 10 

Back in Italy for their first home group game, Italy will be favourites against a Belgium side who no longer have Eden Hazard to call upon, and who still rely on a fading Romelu Lukaku as their golden generation ultimately came to nothing. 

Italy vs. Israel Monday, October 14 

Another winnable game for Italy, with Israel less likely to spring a surprise away from home. This could conceivably be a must-win game for Italy in the second half of the group stages and with two difficult fixtures to come.

Belgium vs. Italy Thursday, November 14 

A trip to the Red Devils awaits in the last international period for the group stages.  If Italy have struggled in the earlier matches then the pressure will be sky high for the visiting side who still have some experienced names to call upon.

Italy vs. France Sunday, November 17

Italy will be desperate to avoid a situation where they are counting on getting something out of the group’s final game. Mbappe and co will be back, featuring names such as Antoine Griezmann, Randal Kolo Muani and more.

Squad Analysis and Key Players

Federico Chiesa – If he is fit, then the 26-year-old Juventus wideman is extremely dangerous, capable of providing goals and assists for any team that gives him too much space. He has rediscovered his form in front of goal after a few lean years.

Nicolo Zaniolo – Zaniolo is another player who has had a hard time staying fit, but a loan move from Galatasaray to Aston Villa has seen him be part of a side challenging for the top four.

Gianluigi Donnarumma – The Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper is one of the best younger goalkeepers in the world, an agile and imposing frame makes him a capable shot-stopper and a leader at the back.

Sandro Tonali – He had threatened to become a Newcastle great after a summer move but found himself banned until this August due to betting offences. He will have had a couple of weeks of intense club football ahead of the return of the Nations League and may be swiftly reintegrated to provide steel and attacking impetus from midfield.

Jorginho – The Arsenal player’s future is uncertain at club level, but he still showcases an astute range of passing and experience after years doing well with Napoli and Chelsea. The Brazilian-born talent could help shepherd a new era for this Italy side.

Tactical Preview and Strategies

Luciano Spalletti’s outstanding Napoli side made the most of three up front led by Victor Osimhen, and with Italy he has tried his trusted 4-3-3 formation, while also bringing a 5-3-2 approach to an away game with England. If his players can operate effectively at both strategies, then he could attempt to frustrate France while focusing on getting wins against Israel and Belgium.

Road to the Finals

The key for Italy will be to make the most of a squad that is short on world class talent. They managed to do just that at Euro 2020, but they failed to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar. They need to make sure that whatever happens in the upcoming Euros, they do not disappoint their home support or their manager, because another overhaul could hold back the next generation. First they must get through the group stages and avoid defeat to Belgium and France in the early stages.

Opponents and Rivals

France – With Ousmane Dembele, Antoine Griezmann, Adrien Rabiot and, of course, Kylian Mbappe in their front six, they are a dangerous proposition for any national team opponent. 

Belgium – If Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku can impress on the world stage then, with Thibaut Courtois behind them, they remain a real threat. But for Italy they should regard them as a team they need to get at least four points from, and their ageing squad is vulnerable.

Israel – The minnows of the group could certainly lose every game against their rivals in the six matches to come, but at home they could emerge with some surprise points. Manor Solomon shoulders the responsibility to provide a threat up front.

Fan Expectations and Support

Italy fans are never shy to put pressure on their team, and they are always happy to make their disappointment known in the press and from the sidelines. That might now be counterproductive given the lack of exceptional talent at Luciano Spalletti’s  disposal, and the need to bring through some promising youngsters.

Socios.com Partnership

With Italy partnering with Socios.com, fans of the national team can track their progress, follow all their success, and also find exclusive content and ways to get to the heart of the action for the upcoming Nations League.

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