18:45 GMT 10 September 2018
The new UEFA Nations League has been widely received as a great initiative from European football’s governing body. In the biggest game on Monday evening, Italy travel to Portugal in Group A3 which comes after Italy drew 1-1 with Poland in the first game of the group.
Portugal’s record against Italy is absolutely shocking and despite winning the most recent meeting 1-0, they lost the 10 games against the Italians prior to that which goes all the way back to 1980. In the five meetings between the nations in the 21st century, there have been two games that have produced over 2.5 goals and those two are the only two where both teams scored. The last time Portugal beat Italy at home was in December 1976 which most modern-day football fans won’t have a chance of remembering.
After Poland and Italy played out a draw last week, a win for Portugal would give them a great chance of topping the group. Cristiano Ronaldo is the only notable absentee for the Euro 2016 winners but he will be massively missed.
Latest matches: Portugal
Four points for Italy after two games would put them in the driving seat in Group A3 but a loss will see them looking at relegation. Roberto Mancini has a fully available squad which should benefit his side in their chase for three points.
Latest matches: Italy
Portugal’s home advantage should make them clear favourites to win this match but it’s not as simple as that, especially without their main man. With the two sides being of very similar quality with poor recent records, a draw looks like the most likely outcome. Both teams to score should come in with strong attacking line-ups while you could also back the match to end as a draw to increase the odds.
10 September 2018 - 18:45 GMT
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