Match Preview: Italy vs Bosnia and Herzegovina

Italy will host Bosnia and Herzegovina to the Allianz Stadium in Group J of 2020 UEFA Euro qualifiers on Tuesday night.

Italy will be looking to extend their perfect start of the European Qualifiers when they face Bosnia at the Juventus Stadium in Turin this evening.

The Azzurri noted an easy 3-0 away victory in Greece last Saturday thanks to goals from Nicolo Barella, Lorenzo Insigne and Leonardo Bonucci.

Bosnia and Herzegovina, on the other hand, were outplayed by Finland, losing 2-0 at the Ratina Stadium in Tampere.

Team news

Chelsea left-back Emerson is expected to start the game against Bosnia tonight, as Leonardo Spinazzola and Cristiano Biraghi withdrew from the squad due to minor injuries.

Serie A top goalscorer Fabio Quagliarella and Juventus starlet Moise Kean should get minutes on the pitch, after sitting out the whole game against Greece last Saturday.

Miralem Pjanic will be available for Bosnia, after serving a suspension against Finland, while Sead Kolasinac and Rade Krunic missed the trip to Turin, both of them through injuries.

Another Serie A star Edin Dzeko will be the Dragons’ biggest hope tonight, being the captain and the all-time top goalscorer of the national team.

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What did the managers say

Italy boss Roberto Mancini believes his players have extra motivation to prove their quality after failing to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

“There are moments when things go wrong, but Italy that did not qualify for the World Championship was strong: they are moments that happen, I believe that after the disappointment there was an extra boost, something different and more beautiful.

“We hope to continue winning to climb it, Italy does not deserve to be in that position. I have always been relaxed. I am here because I enjoy this. I like to train the boys; they are all good and quality players so it’s a pleasure.”

Former Barcelona and Real Madrid player, now the head coach of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Robert Prosinecki has admitted Finland was simply better than his side on Saturday.

“I congratulate Finland because they deservedly won. It was one of our worst games since I am in charge of the national team. They have outplayed us in all aspects of the game. We had a chance to take the lead and maybe the game would go in the other direction.

“In any case, the Finns were better and deservedly won. In three days we have another game that we need to think about. We have to fix everything that was not good today. I did not expect it to be this way, the host wanted to win more and congratulate them once again.”

Stats

Italy and Bosnia met each other only once, back in 1996, in a game which finished 2-1 in favor of the Bosnian national team.

The Azzurri are the leaders of Group J, having won all three games since the start of the European Qualifiers with a goal difference of 11-0.

Bosnia suffered their first defeat in the qualifications last Saturday, losing 2-0 against Finland. However, they’ve never suffered back-to-back defeats in the past five years.

The Italian national team have lost only one competitive game in the past 18 months, 1-0 against Portugal. They are unbeaten at home since the friendly game against France back in September 2016, noting nine wins and eight draws in the process.

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