Saturday 17 Nov

Italy vs Portugal - Match Preview

17 Nov 2018 Ed Mackey INTERNATIONAL: UEFA Nations League, League A, Gr. 3
INTERNATIONAL: UEFA Nations League, League A, Gr. 3


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19:45 GMT
17 November 2018


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19:45 GMT 17 November 2018

The third international break of the European domestic season is well underway and Nations League football has been dominating. There’s another heavyweight clash on Saturday as Italy host Portugal in Group A3.


  • Italy were forced to watch the World Cup from afar after failing to qualify but their form since the summer has been far from special. In their four matches, they have won just once, scoring only three goals in those games. That win came last time out against Poland which took them off the bottom of their Nations League group following defeat to Saturday’s opponents.
  • After being knocked out of the World Cup by Uruguay, Portugal have been brilliant, winning three and drawing one of their four internationals. They have a 100% record in the Nations League with wins over both Poland and Italy. In their most recent game, they beat Scotland 3-1 away from home. Three points against Italy will see them through to the finals next summer.
  • Italy have only scored twice in their Nations League fixtures. Jorginho and Cristiano Biraghi got the goals.
  • Portugal have scored double that amount and Andre Silva is the only player to have netted twice. Bernardo Silva also has one goal in the competition with other being an own goal.


Portugal’s record against Italy has improved recently as they have won both of the last two meetings following a run of 10 consecutive Italian victories. Five of the last 10 games have finished 1-0, including the last two which also means over 2.5 goals have been scored in just two of the last seven matches. On both occasions, both teams scored, the only times this has happened in the same amount of meetings.


To increase their chances of avoiding relegation from the group, Italy need to win against Portugal. Federico Bernardeschi has been forced to drop out of the squad while there could be debuts for Sandro Tonali, Stefano Sensi and Vincenzo Grifo.

Latest matches: Italy

14.10.2018 UEFA Poland Italy 0:1 W
10.10.2018 Inte Italy Ukraine 1:1 D
10.09.2018 UEFA Portugal Italy 1:0 L
07.09.2018 UEFA Italy Poland 1:1 D
04.06.2018 Inte Italy Netherlands 1:1 D


The headline news concerns Cristiano Ronaldo and his continued absence from the Portugal squad. Although, Jose Fonte, Raphael Guerreiro, Andre Gomes and Joao Mario are all back in the international fold.

Latest matches: Portugal

14.10.2018 Inte Scotland Portugal 1:3 W
11.10.2018 UEFA Poland Portugal 2:3 W
10.09.2018 UEFA Portugal Italy 1:0 W
06.09.2018 Inte Portugal Croatia 1:1 D
30.06.2018 Worl Uruguay Portugal 2:1 L


Portugal have been in considerably better form than Italy recently and it certainly wouldn’t be a surprise to see them win on Saturday evening. However, with neither side’s games tending to produce too many goals, there might be some value when backing under 2.5 goals. If he starts, Andre Silva looks a likely goalscorer.

About the author - Ed Mackey

Experienced sports writer and huge Leicester City fan.

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