Italy v Poland: line-ups, coaches' view, form guide
HOW THE NATIONS LEAGUE WORKS
Italy: Donnarumma; Zappacosta, Bonucci, Chiellini, Criscito; Benassi, Jorginho, Pellegrini; Chiesa, Balotelli, Insigne
Poland: Fabiański; Bereszyński, Glik, Kamiński, Reca; Błaszczykowski, Krychowiak, Zieliński, Kurzawa; Milik, Lewandowski
Reporter’s view: Paolo Menicucci (@UEFAcomPaoloM)
Eight members of the Poland squad play in Serie A, so Italy will know what they’re up against, though in Robert Lewandowski the visitors have one of the three or four players in the world that home boss Roberto Mancini said could “win games by themselves”. Having missed the World Cup finals, the Azzurri need a few more games to bed in under their new coach. Poland have the edge for now, but home advantage could make this game very tight.
What the coaches say
Roberto Mancini, Italy coach
We come into the UEFA Nations League convinced that we can do well and win games. The first objective is to gel as a team, because only three or four players in the world can win games by themselves. Poland had a poor World Cup but are a great team. We have experienced players and youngsters who can add a lot, even if Italy tend to struggle to find space against big teams.
Jerzy Brzęczek, Poland coach
It is my first game; we will start a new chapter with some new people. It will be interesting to play against Italy as both teams are in a similar situation. Poland did not do as well as people expected at the World Cup, and Italy – a giant of world football – did not qualify at all. Aside from final tournaments, I cannot remember Poland getting to play big teams as often [as in the Nations League]. It is a good test which will show immediately whether my choices are the right ones.
2018 World Cup
Qualifying – 2nd in Group G (W7 D2 L1), lost 0-1agg to Sweden in play-offs
Final tournament – did not qualify
Last five matches (most recent first): DLWDL
2018 World Cup
Qualifying – 1st in Group E (W8 D1 L1)
Final tournament – 4th in Group H (W1 D0 L2)
Last five matches (most recent first): WLLWD