Germany will be aiming to go to the top of Group A3 of the UEFA Nations League when they play hosts to current leaders Italy on Tuesday night.

The international break will come to an end this week in Europe with the final round of fixtures in the UEFA Nations League set to be played out on Tuesday night. And Germany will be hoping to register their first victory in the competition when they play hosts to Italy in a Group A3 encounter at the Borussia Park.

Germany have made an underwhelming start to their Nations League campaign, failing to win any of their three matches so far, drawing all of them, with their latest clash ending in a 1-1 stalemate with Hungary. It has left Hansi Flick’s side third in the group, two points behind leaders Italy and a point below Hungary in second. With the World Cup not that far away, Die Mannschaft will need to get back to winning ways and start building momentum.

Italy, on the other hand, have managed to climb to the top of Group A3 despite having to make do without several of their frontline players. After starting their international break with a disappointing defeat to Argentina in the Finalissima, but have not lost any of their three Nations League matches, beating Hungary while drawing against Germany and England. The Azzurri will be hoping to add more points to their tally and extend their lead at the top.

A win for Germany, though, could send them to the top of the table if the result of the game between England and Hungary goes their way. Ahead of this exciting match-up at Borussia Park, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at both teams.

Team News & Tactics

Germany

Germany have been boosted by the return of Serge Gnabry, who is back in training after missing the last game against Hungary. Antonio Rudiger, who was rested for the clash, should also be back in the side for the hosts. Nico Schlotterbeck will miss out, though, as he is suspended due to an accumulation of cards.

Hansi Flick will set his side up in a 4-2-3-1 formation in front of goalkeeper and captain Manuel Neuer. Niklas Sule and the returning Rudiger should pair up at the heart of the Germany defence. Benjamin Henrichs should slot in at right-back and provide a constant attacking outlet, while Thilo Kehrer, who has impressed the manager with his versatility, ought to start at left-back.

Joshua Kimmich is a mainstay in the centre of the park for Germany and will look to provide the control and dictate the tempo of the game. He will likely be partnered by Manchester City star Ilkay Gundogan, who will pose a threat with his ghosting forward runs and look to get into dangerous positions.

The chance-creating responsibilities should form on the trio of the returning Gnabry, Thomas Muller and Leroy Sane, who will line up behind the main striker, who ought to be young Karim Adeyemi. Kai Havertz and Timo Werner will be added options from the bench for the home team.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Neuer; Henrichs, Sule, Rudiger, Kehrer; Kimmich, Gundogan; Gnabry, Muller, Sane; Adeyemi

Italy

Italy have a host of stars missing from action as Leonardo Bonucci, Domenico Berardi, Moise Kean, Nicolo Zaniolo, Andrea Belotti, Cristiano Biraghi, Alessandro Florenzi and Mattia Zacagni are all unavailable. Roberto Mancini is expected to make a few notable changes to the side that took the field against England this past weekend.

Gianluigi Donnarumma is a certainty between the sticks for the Azzurri. He will likely be protected by the centre-back pairing of Francesco Acerbi and Alessandro Bastoni, with the latter coming in for Federico Gatti despite the latter’s fine performance on his debut against England. Giovanni Di Lorenzo and Leonardo Spinazzola ought to be the two full-backs for the Italians.

Manuel Locatelli should retain his place at the base of the midfield and look to shut Thomas Muller out. He will have support from Davide Frattesi, who will also be tasked with providing the forward thrust when Italy are in possession. Sandro Tonali should take up the third slot in the centre of the park.

Lorenzo Pellegrini has been one of Italy’s standout performers in the current international break and is a guaranteed starter on the left side of the attacking trident. Matteo Politano could get the nod on the opposite flank ahead of Matteo Pessina, who started against England. Giacomo Raspadori is also in line for a start, coming in at the expense of his Sassuolo teammate Gianluca Scamacca.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Donnarumma; Di Lorenzo, Acerbi, Bastoni, Spinazzola; Frattesi, Locatelli, Tonali; Politano, Raspadori, Pellegrini

Key Stats

  • This will be the 37th meeting between Germany and Italy. Of the previous 36 clashes, the Azzurri have won 15 while Die Mannschaft have come out on top on nine occasions (D12).
  • Since their loss to England in the UEFA Euro 2020 last year, Germany are on a 12-game unbeaten streak, winning eight of those matches. However, they have failed to win each of their last four games.
  • Italy are without a win in their previous five meetings with Germany, losing two of those encounters (D3).
  • Germany are yet to win a single game in their ongoing UEFA Nations League campaign, drawing each of the three fixtures they have played.
  • Italy have won two, lost two and drawn two of their six matches played in 2022.

Player to Watch

Serge Gnabry

The 26-year-old winger is coming on the back of an exciting season with Bayern Munich and was one of Germany’s brightest performers in the reverse fixture against Italy earlier this month. Considering that Hansi Flick’s side are finding it difficult to breach the opposition goal, having a player like Gnabry, who can change the course of any game in a single moment of ingenuity, could be extremely handy.

The former Arsenal starlet will be keen on adding to his tally of 20 international goals from 33 matches, having failed to find the target for Germany in his last three appearances for Die Mannschaft.

Prediction

Germany 1-1 Italy

Germany have not been anywhere close to their marauding best from the early parts of Hansi Flick’s tenure as manager. Die Mannschaft have not clicked going forward so far in the UEFA Nations League, leading to them failing to win any of their three matches. And on Tuesday, they will be coming up against an Italian side that has exhibited defensive solidity despite missing several frontline options.

Much like the reverse fixture between the two teams, Tuesday’s fixture at Borussia Park could also be a cagey affair with little to separate Germany and Italy. The Hard Tackle, thus, predicts a 1-1 draw.

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