After the defeat in the semi-finals of the Nations League, Italy and Belgium are in the play-off for third place before the final between Spain and France. Italy’s long-running streak of 37 undefeated players ended in their last game by the mighty Spaniards, but that doesn’t mean they’re an easy team to beat right now.
Their young talented players look promising every game and with the game being played in Italy Belgium will be fighting for its money. In their last game, the Azzurri didn’t go according to the script.
They were sent off and were 2 goals behind at halftime. They left open spaces in their defense and did not attack as a unit, which cost them a chance for the title.
Belgium played very well in the semifinals against France, but received a winning goal in the 90th minute and was eliminated. This was their last chance for their golden generation to prove the critics wrong and win a trophy as winning the World Cup is too far-fetched to have an aging backline.
They looked positive in the first half, but their defense was pretty bad and they conceded goals that could have been avoided. Both sides would surely expect a reward once they made it this far in the tournament, and third place is something they are ready to fight for.
Bonucci has to sit out this game as he was banned in the last game. Italy would have to do without their outstanding striker Ciro Immobile and Matteo Pessina due to injury. Mancini are likely to give their key players a break after a tough battle against Spain and give the younger players a chance at stardom.
Italy Expected starting line-up: Donnarumma; Di Lorenzo, Bastoni, Chiellini, Emerson; Verratti, Jorginho, Locatelli; Berardi, Raspador, Bernardeschi
Doku, Mertens and Meunier are excluded from the pecking order due to violations. Martinez will also choose to give important players a break.
– Belgian Red Devils (@BelRedDevils) October 7, 2021
Belgium starting grid: Polite; Alderweireld, Denayer, Vertonghen; Castagne, Tielemans, Dendocker, Saelemaekers; Vanakan, Lukaku, De Ketelaere
It is almost impossible to leave Lukaku out of the starting XI with his monstrous form. Lukaku is at the point in his career where whatever he touches is gold or goals to be precise.
He scored a goal against France and narrowly got away with scoring the winner in the final minutes of the game, but he was called outside and his goal was not recognized. Lukaku is her man at the helm, who is responsible for ending the ball in the back of the net. He will most likely appear on the scoreboard.
Since Locatelli did not play against Spain, Mancini will certainly give him a chance in the starting XI in front of his fans. Locatelli made a significant contribution to Italy’s European Championship victory and settled in well at Juventus in his early days.
The deeply rooted playmaker is an all-rounder as he has attack strength along with his defensive quality that compliments his massive physique. He will have a huge impact on the outcome of the game.
Both teams will use younger players and give them a chance in the spotlight and with Italy having the better offspring they are likely to do better than Belgium. Italy also plays in front of its home fans, who would expect a reaction after the semi-final defeat. FootTheBall Predicts Italy 2-1 Belgium.