England vs. Italy
Italy will travel to the Molineux Stadium in Wolverhampton, England, on Saturday, 11th June, where they face England in the Nations League group stage at 2:45 PM ET. England’s last two outings against Hungary and Germany have been disappointing so far, with the star-studded team looking lackluster.
On the other hand, Italy also had a slow start against Germany, with a 1-1 draw to show at the end of the game. In contrast, they won the second game against Hungary with a 2-1 scoreline after the final whistle.
Both teams have been performing below par in their last few games. The players from both teams look tired and need some freshness injected into them if they are to have a chance of reaching the final.
This match between the two strongest teams on paper will show soccer fans if the hype is real.
England and Italy’s Campaign So Far
Hungary vs. England
England has been the more disappointing team out of the two, with England only managing a draw with Germany in their second game. However, their loss against Hungary in the first group game was one of the worst performances soccer fans have seen under England coach Gareth Southgate.
The first game was marred by a show of lack of discipline and focus by the English players. England traveled to Budapest, Hungary, hoping to return home with a win. However, the hosts had different ideas.
England had 12 shots with 58% possession. Out of the 12 shots taken, only 4 were on target. This has been a recurring theme in Gareth Southgate’s team for a while now, with the team focused on passive side and back passes instead of attacking teams with intent.
The Hungarians entered the game with much respect for the opponents, but the continuous ball giveaways by the English players, even without facing any pressure, emboldened the Hungarians. They took 11 shots, and 6 were on target, which gives us an idea of how poorly the England team performed that night.
Their star striker Dominik Szoboszlai scored a penalty in the 66th minute of the second half after Reece James took down one of their players inside the box. Dominik coolly and calmly dispatched the penalty into the back of the net as England’s supporters were left in utter shock by their team’s performance on the night.
Germany vs. England
England traveled to the Allianz Arena in Munich to try and get a win against a young and vibrant German team. A victory over Germany would make a point to soccer fans stating that the game against Hungary was just a fluke.
The likes of Mount, Saka and Kalvin Phillips started the game, but they did not affect the game. Germany was dominating the match until England made some substitutions. Grealish, Bellingham, and Jared Bowen came on for the first three players mentioned above and started getting involved in the game.
The Germans struck first through Jonas Hofmann in the 50th minute as the English team looked lost. Grealish came on and controlled the game’s pace and linked up well with Harry Kane.
In the 88th minute, England was awarded a penalty, and Kane safely slotted it home to go back with a draw.
Italy vs. Germany
Italy has also been under a lot of pressure lately after Roberto Mancini’s team failed to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar. This is the second time Italy has missed out on a World Cup, and the players and coach have been under fire for being too passive in their approach to games.
Italy hosted Germany at the Renato Dall’Ara, and Mancini’s men had a point to prove, especially after the loss in the Finalissima against Argentina just a few days back. Not qualifying for the World Cup and losing the Finalissima brought too many criticisms to the Italian team and coach.
The Germans came and dominated the game with a ball possession of 68% as compared to Italy’s low 32%. However, it was Italy who struck first through Lorenzo Pellegrini in the 70th minute.
The Germans did not take long to respond as they increased their intensity and scored an equalizing goal through Joshua Kimmich, one of the stars of the German team.
Italy vs. Hungary
Italy had a much standard game against Hungary, where they had the lion’s share of possession. They won the game 2-1, but the scoreline does not tell the whole story.
Nicolo Barella scored in the 30th minute and was followed up by Pellegrini’s strike just before the stroke of halftime. The goal against Italy was an own goal scored by Italy’s Mancini in the 61st minute.
Although Hungary had 4 shots on target, they could not affect the game’s outcome.
England vs. Italy – Preview
As Italy sit on top of the table now, the pressure is all on Southgate’s England team to get the win. Italy will also look to build a more substantial lead between them and the team in second.
Southgate is currently coming under scrutiny from the media and the English soccer fans for being too passive on the ball. The argument is that Southgate is not using the players to their full potential.
Italy also has a point to prove to the world that they were going through only a rough phase as they failed to win the Finalissimo and qualify for the World Cup.
Whatever the result will be, this match between England and Italy at the Molineux Stadium is crucial for both teams.
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