• Analysis

Match Preview: Bosnia vs Italy

Italy, Bosnia and Herzegovina
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Bosnia and Herzegovina welcome Roberto Mancini’s Italy to the Bilino Polje Stadium in Zenica tonight at 20:45 (CET).

Bosnia and Herzegovina continue their EURO 2020 pursuit with a home game against Group J leaders Italy.

The Balkan country, however, will need a real miracle in order to qualify for the European Championship for the first time in history, as they trail second-placed Finland by five points with two games to go.

They need to beat both Italy and Lichtenstein, wait for Finland to lose against Lichtenstein and Greece and see Armenia drop points in one of their final two games of the qualifying campaign. It seems impossible, doesn’t it?

The Azzurri, on the other hand, have already booked their place at the EURO 2020 with eight wins in eight games in the qualifying process so far.

They have also secured first place in the Group J standings, significantly improving their self-confidence after failing to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia last summer.

Team news

Good news for Bosnia head coach Robert Prosinecki is that he has a fully fit squad to chose from ahead of the clash with the mighty Italians.

All eyes are on Serie A stars Miralem Pjanic and Edin Dzeko, as both of them perfectly know the Italian football style.

Roberto Mancini has included uncapped trio Gaetano Castrovilli, Riccardo Orsolini and Andrea Cistana for the game against Bosnia with Alessandro Florenzi, Emerson Palmieri and Federico Chiesa all recalled after missing the October games.

Stats

Bosnia and Herzegovina have only won three of their last ten matches (L5), but are unbeaten in seven games at home (W5).

Italy have won their last nine matches and are unbeaten in 12 games (W10). The only other time Italy won nine consecutive matches was in 1938–39. Four of those victories ensured they won the 1938 World Cup.

Twelve of Italy’s last 14 goals have been scored in the second half. The last time they failed to find the net was in the UEFA Nations League 0-0 draw against Portugal.

Marco Verratti has scored twice in his last six games for Italy. He had only one international goal in his first 30 Azzurri appearances.

One of those goals came against Bosnia, as the midfielder scored the decider in the only meeting between the sides in history.

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