Italy will welcome Hungary for their second 2022/23 UEFA Nations League encounter of the season to be played at the Orogel Stadium Dino Manuzzi in Cesena.

Italy and Hungary will face off in their second group stage encounter of the 2022/23 UEFA Nations League at the Orogel Stadium in Cesena. The two sides have been placed alongside Germany and England in Group A3.

The Azzurri are still fresh off their World Cup disappointment, having failed to qualify for the Qatar showpiece later this year. They were also beaten 3-0 by Argentina in the Finalissima before drawing 1-1 with Germany in their Nations League opener.

Lorenzo Pellegrini had given Italy the lead in the 70th minute against Germany but Joshua Kimmich equalised just three minutes later as the two European giants shared points. Roberto Mancini’s side will want to return to winning ways against Hungary, who are coming into the game on the back ff a win over England.

Hungary were the second favourites going into the England encounter but came out 1-0 victors thanks to Dominik Szoboszlai’s penalty in the 66th minute. Gareth Southgate’s men were ineffective in front of goal and struggled to perform as a unit, resulting in the defeat. Head coach Marco Rossi will hope his side can muster yet another upset to solidify their spot at the top of the group table.

Team News & Tactics

Italy

Roberto Mancini fielded a new-look side against Germany and earned a well-fought 1-1 draw. He could, however, make some changes for the Hungary game as the Azzurri search for their first win of the tournament.

Ciro Immobile, Federico Chiesa and Nicolo Zaniolo are all set to miss the encounter due to respective injuries. Domenico Berardi, Marco Verratti and Jorginho are out too as they were released after the Argentina defeat.

Continuing with a 4-3-3, Mancini will most likely retain Gianluigi Donnarumma between the sticks with Alessandro Florenzi taking the right-back spot again. Gianluca Mancini could be come in for Francesco Acerbi as Alessandro Bastoni retains his place. Cristiano Biraghi is expected to continue at left-back.

Davide Frattesi, Bryan Cristante and Sandro Tonali are expected to hold on to their starting spots, forming the midfield three for Italy. Mancini could alter the attacking line with youngster Wilfried Gnonto impressing in his second-half cameo against Germany.

With Gnonto taking the right-wing in place of Matteo Politano, Gianluca Scamacca and Lorenzo Pellegrini should keep their respective spots from the last match.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Donnarumma; Florenzi, Mancini, Bastoni, Biraghi; Fratessi, Cristante, Tonali; Gnonto, Scamacca, Pellegrini

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Hungary

Head coach Marco Rossi will continue with his preferred 3-4-2-1 formation and could be tempted to name an unchanged side to the one that started in the 1-0 win over England.

That would mean Peter Gulasci starting as their goalkeeper after a solid outing against England. Adam Lang, Willi Orban and Attila Szalai will take up the three centre-defensive spots as Loic Nego and Zsolt Nagy occupy the two wing-back positions.

Adam Nagy and Andras Schafer will form the double pivot in the centre of the park with Roland Sallai and Dominik Szoboszlai supporting Adam Szalai up top as the two attacking midfielders.

Rossi will want his side to take confidence from the England win and plot another improbable victory. But they will once again go in as the second favourites.

Probable Lineup (3-4-2-1): Gulacsi; Lang, Orban, Attila Szalai; Nego, A. Nagy, Schafer, Z. Nagy; Sallai, Szoboszlai; Adam Szalai

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Key Stats

  • Italy have a superior overall record over Hungary with 16 wins in 33 matches. Hungary have won eight times while nine games have finished in draws.
  • The two sides haven’t faced off in 15 years with their last encounter coming in an international friendly in 2007.
  • Hungary won the last meeting between the two sides, a 3-1 victory in Budapest.
  • Italy went into the 2007 encounter between the two sides undefeated in seven matches against Hungary.
  • Hungary currently lead Group A3 with three points, followed by Italy and Germany with one each and England with zero.

Player to Watch

Wilfried Gnonto

18-year-old Wilfried Gnonto was quite impressive in his second-half appearance against Germany and also earned the assist for Lorenzo Pellegrini’s goal. He could be offered a starting spot by Roberto Mancini this time, making him the player to watch out for in the encounter.

Gnonto currently plays for FC Zurich in the Swiss first division. Just 18 years old, the forward is coming on the back of a decent season with his club, having netted ten goals and set up five more from 36 games in all competitions. Likely to make his full debut for Italy on Tuesday, he will want to mark the occasion with a goal.

Prediction

Italy 2-0 Hungary

Roberto Mancini’s side gave a strong performance against Germany in their last match and one can expect them to come out all guns blazing again as they look to leave behind the disappointment of failing to qualify for the Qatar World Cup. While Hungary are high on confidence after their England win, Italy look like the stronger side and could be a tougher nut to crack than Gareth Southgate’s team.

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