UEFA Nations League preview: Italy to welcome Poland on Friday (7 September) in opening clash

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The Azzurri, who missed out on the World Cup, will be looking for a strong start in new tournament


With the UEFA Nations League all set for its big kick off this week, one side looking to impress more than most will be Italy. The 2006 World Cup winners missed out entirely on this year’s edition of the FIFA tournament and now new boss Roberto Mancini will be looking to get his reign off to the perfect start.

First things first

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Where can I win money in this tie?

Despite being handed Spain in the World Cup qualifiers, it was still a shock that Italy did not make it to Russia at all. Their failure follows two successive disappointments on international football’s biggest stage.

Since winning the tournament 12 years ago, Italy have been knocked out at the first hurdle in both 2010 and 2014. Now, they are looking to go back to the drawing board as Mancini desperately strives to arrest what has become a worrying slide.

Mancini’s start as head coach of the Italian side has been mixed to say the least. In three games he has overseen a win, a draw and a defeat, with the only win coming against lowly Saudi Arabia.

Italy were defeated by current world champions France and were held to a stalemate by Holland – another country who failed to make it to the World Cup this summer. Now, Mancini’s work begins in earnest and nothing less than a convincing performance and a win will suffice.

And as the home side it is Italy who come into the match as clear favourites to make a winning start to the UEFA Nations League. The Italians are at just 1.75 to take the points with visitors Poland all the way out at 4.75 to record a win on the road – a draw is priced in the middle at 3.60, according to Oddsshark.

It should be pointed out, however, that Poland did in fact make it to the World Cup, and will hardly be pushovers in this clash. However, they were eliminated after only two games, losing to both Senegal and Colombia before restoring a little pride with victory over Japan in their final match.

Jerzy Brzeczek has now taken over the national job and will want to make a bright start. While a win may be a stretch too far they could well get a point, with a 1-1 draw priced at 7.00.

There is no denying, however, that the technical quality of Italy’s players, coupled with home advantage, does make them strong favourites for this match. A 2-1 win for the Italians comes in at9.00, offering close to a ten-fold return on any investment.

In addition, you could more than double your money by backing over 2.5 goals in the game at 2.40, while under 2.5 goals is at the lower price of 1.53. Both teams to score also offers you a chance to double your investment, with that particular outcome priced at 2.25.

Looking at the head to head record between the two sides, you can see a slight advantage in Italy’s favour as well. The last 14 matches have produced five wins for Italy and just three for Poland, with six games ending in a stalemate.

But Italy will be desperate to make a positive start under Mancini and show that they belong at the top table of international football. As such, you can back the Italians to win to nil (without Poland scoring a goal) at a price of 2.50.

You could more than triple your money if you think that Italy can score in both halves at 3.25, while the former world champions are at 5.50 to win both halves. Meanwhile, if you think Poland could enjoy a period of domination then they are at 2.75 to win either half.

And there is no surprise as to who is at the shortest price to do the damage in front of goal. Lazio striker Ciro Immobile is at just 2.00 to find the back of the net during the match, while he is at 3.60 to net either the first or last goal of the game.

UEFA Nations League fixtures:

Friday, 7 September

(2.05) Azerbaijan x Kosovo (3.80); draw (3.20)

(2.15) Albania x Israel (3.75); draw (3.00)

(1.70) Faroe Islands x Malta (5.75); draw (3.25)

(1.72) Italy x Poland (4.75); draw (3.60)

(7.50) Lithuania x Serbia (1.50); draw (3.75)

(1.75) Romania x Montenegro (5.25); draw (3.2

(2.25) Turkey x Russia (3.50); draw (3.00)