Italy is hosting Belgium at Allianz Stadium in the 3rd place matchup in the UEFA Nations League. Italy didn’t have a great game against Spain in the semifinals, and they will be without Bonucci in this game. Belgium has had a solid first half against France, but they failed immensely in the second half and lost.
Well, the day has finally arrived, and Italy has broken their undefeated streak after over 30 games, and it came at the worst time. Italy was playing against Spain in the Nations League semifinals, and it was far, far from their best game. Italy has had only 25% of ball possession, 5 shots on goal, 1 corner kick, 3 big chances created, and 80% of the correct passes. Italy has conceded a red card in the first half, and maybe things would have been different if they hadn’t, but Italy ended up losing this match 1-2. Berardi and Pellegrini are the leading goalscorers for Italy in this competition with 2 goals each. Insigne has added 3 assists. As I’ve mentioned, Italy will be without Bonucci in this game, but if they have anything, they have a solid defense. Overall, Italy is probably still the best team in the world, and them losing to Spain might be a good thing to ground them, but we will see if they can bounce back.
I was counting on Belgium getting to the finals, and they were on the right track, but that poor second half against France has really killed them. With that loss, Belgium has ended their 3-game winning streak, and they will need to bounce back soon. In that game against France, Belgium has had 51% of ball possession, 6 shots on goal, 4 corner kicks, 0 big chances created, and a high 92% of the correct passes. After Belgium was leading 2-0 in the first half, everything was peachy, until France stepped up their game in the second half. In the 62nd and the 59th minute, Belgium has conceded 2 goals, and they conceded another goal in the 90th minute. One of these goals was from the penalty spot which France shouldn’t have had, but we can’t change that. Belgium has lost this game 2-3. Lukaku has been impressive for Belgium with 6 scored goals for Belgium, while Mertens added 3 goals. De Bruyne has added 5 assists. Belgium is the number 1 ranked team in the world, but at the moment, their defense doesn’t look like it, and they will need to make some changes if they want to stay on top.
I think this will be a great game, and I think we will see a ton of chances. Neither team is much focused on defense right now, and for that reason, I think we will see goals.