Preview: Hungary vs Italy – prediction, team news, line-ups

Sports Mole previews Monday’s Nations League clash between Hungary and Italy, including predictions, team news and possible line-ups.

Deciding the fate of the two teams in the UEFA Nations Leaguea crucial clash between Hungary and Italy on Monday, the duo are battling for a spot in next summer’s final.

While the hosts’ latest upset against a major European nation puts them two points clear at the top of League A Group 3, the Azzurri’s victory over England means they can grab the top spot. place with a victory in Budapest.

Match preview

© Reuters

Concluding their final Nations League group stage campaign, Hungary once again defied expectations to start the final round in first place to beat Germany, England and Italy to Group supremacy. 3.

After four games in June, the Magyars resumed with another eye-catching result on the first of two matches this month, as they beat Movie Hansion the Leipzig side on Friday.

A mainstay of the Bundesliga for the past decade – although now plying his trade in the Swiss Super League – veteran striker Adam Szalai scored the only goal in the 17th minute, directing a smart back heel kick into the corner of Marc-Andre ter Stegenit’s clean.

After playing such an important role in Flick’s defeat in charge of the Germans, the 34-year-old later announced his retirement would come after Hungary’s final group game back in Budapest.

His time in the red jersey is therefore coming to an end as his side host Italy, knowing that even a draw will see them through to the final stages of the Nations League for the first time.

Should they slip and miss on Monday, Hungary’s record in Europe’s new international competition would still be impressive: when the inaugural tournament began in 2018, they started in the third tier, but successive promotions saw them rise to status of League A.

Now, the ‘Mighty Magyars’, once again, are on the brink of qualifying for next June’s final; partly compensating for their failure to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar.

Giacomo Raspadori celebrates Italy's goal against England on September 23, 2022© Reuters

Like Hungary, the visitors were unable to make it to this winter’s World Gathering in the Middle East, but can at least qualify for the Nations League final with the right result at the Puskas Arena.

Victory is the only option for Roberto ManciniNapoli’s men, who held on by edging out England in a lackluster encounter in Milan on Friday night, the Napoli striker Giacomo Raspadori score the decisive goal midway through the second half.

As a result, the Azzurri are two points clear of their opponents, whom they managed to beat 2-1 in Cesena earlier this year, handing Hungary their only defeat in Group 3.

While an unknown Italian coach, Marco Rossipropelled the Hungarians to new heights – after qualifying for Euro 2020 with a double victory over now-relegated England and taking four points from Germany – his compatriots have worked hard since winning the Euro just over a year ago.

Not only did Italy suffer the ignominy of a World Cup playoff exit in North Macedonia, but they were also beaten by three goals in the ‘Finalissima’ against Argentina, South American champions, and in their last away game – a 5-2 crush by the Germans.

Indeed, they have recorded just five wins in their last 15 matches overall, but seemingly out of nowhere, a slim chance of redemption has appeared for a side in transition before hitting the road to Euro 2024.

Having finished third in the previous edition of the Nations League, La Nazionale can go one step further and lift their second trophy in the space of two years, but such hopes hinge on taking maximum points on Monday.

Form of the Nations League of Hungary:

Hungarian form (all competitions):

Form of Nations League Italy:

Italy form (all competitions):

Team News

Hungarian coach Marco Rossi on September 23, 2022© Reuters

Although Marco Rossi will be without a first-choice striker Roland Sallaiwho missed another Hungary call-up with a recent eye injury, MLS-based Daniel Gazdag deputized on Friday and could do it again against Italy.

Dominik Szoboszlai will also start in support of centre-forward and captain Adam Szalai, who bids a fond farewell to the home fans in his final game against the Magyars.

Loic Nego is likely to feature at right-back, with a teenager Milos Kerkez hoping to build on his senior Leipzig debut by keeping his place on the left; regular starter Zsolt Nagy is hurt.

Meanwhile, after a somewhat improvised side managed to get the better of England at the San Siro, Italy are set to persist with their 3-5-2 setup and similar personnel.

As a midfield trio Marco Veratti, Sandro Tonali and Lorenzo Pellegrinimore Napoli winger Matteo Politanoall withdrew from the team due to injury, Davide Frattesi and Manolo Gabbiadini were called in as replacements – the latter ending an international exile of around five years.

West Ham United striker Gianluca Scamacca received his fourth start for the Azzurri – replacing Serie A’s top scorer last season Ciro motionlesswho missed Milan with a thigh problem – and could link up with former Sassuolo team-mate Giacomo Raspadori again if Immobile can’t recover in time.

As Frattesi rivals Roma Bryan Cristo for a place in the visitors’ midfield, the wingers Federico Dimarco and Giovanni Di Lorenzo should remain in place due to lack of other suitors after Cristante’s teammate Leonardo Spinazzola and the versatile Manuel Lazzari were omitted from Roberto Mancini’s latest selection.

Possible starting line-up from Hungary:
Gulacsi; Lang, Orban, At. Szalai; Fiola, Schäfer, Gazdag, Kerkez; A. Nagy, Szoboszlai; A d. Szalai

Possible starting line-up for Italy:
Donnarumma; Toloi, Bonucci, Bastoni; Di Lorenzo, Barella, Jorginho, Frattesi, Dimarco; Raspadori, motionless

SM words green background

We say: Hungary 1-1 Italy

Persistent overachievers, Hungary are buoyed by their first competitive win over Germany since the 1954 World Cup and fear no national team after their recent exploits. Injured Italy remain a side in need of an overhaul after the Euros and will miss out on the victory required to reach the Nations League final.

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