Roberto Mancini’s Italy are on a five-match win-less streak and, after missing out on the Russia World Cup, things are still looking bleak. An away game in Poland is not the ideal platform to end that run but, after failing to win either of their opening Nations League matches, they desperately need more points on the board.
The Azzurri are currently bottom of League A’s Group 3 after a draw and a defeat in their opening two matches, and are yet to score a goal from open play – their only goal coming from the penalty spot.
The Poles, however, are also on an ordinary run and earlier in the week were unable to celebrate Robert Lewandowski’s 100th cap in style with a win. Instead it was a Ronaldo-less Portugal who won 3-2 in Chorzow to take control of the group. Lewandowski will, of course, will lead the line again, even though he failed to score on his big day.
Also in midweek, Federico Bernardeschi was on the mark for Italy in their 1-1 draw against Ukraine and is expected to feature again, alongside Lorenzo Insigne and Chelsea’s Jorginho. Of more concern for the Italians will be their failure to keep a clean sheet in their last eight matches, even with a defence that includes Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci, and their once impregnable back-four now looks anything but. They have however managed to score in six of those eight games.
Poland, for their part, currently have a decent record in front of goal and Jerzy Brzęczek’s team have scored in each of their four matches since the World Cup.
So, on that basis, both teams to score is not the worst bet in the world (23/25) but we prefer to be rather more adventurous and so are looking at a 2-1 home ( +1050 with 188bet). We’re equally tempted, on the basis that Lewandowski rarely goes two international games without scoring, by +350 ( 888sport) for him to be ‘first goalscorer’.
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Poland to win 2-1
Sunday 14, October. 19:45GMT
Robert Lewandowski to be first goalscorer
Sunday 14, October. 19:45 GMT
Turkey are the visitors to Russia’s Fisht Olympic Stadium for a pivotal clash in Group B2.
A win for the hosts would see them move within a single point of promotion to the A Division, while at the same time making it mathematically impossible for the visitors to progress. So the stakes are high.
Russia won the reverse fixture 2-1 in Trabzon in the first international break of the season and so everything points to them doing something similar again.
For the Turks, this looks a big ask although they do already have an away win under their belts, having already beaten Sweden 3-2 in Stockholm.
Worthy of note is that two of the previous three meetings between these sides have been drawn, but we’re not sure the Turks can win two away games on the spin. Instead, we believe, having won away in Turkey, the Russians will do the double on home turf, with 2-1 looking particularly appealing at +800 ( 888sport).
We’re also drawn to Russia leading at half-time at +170 with BetVictor.
Russia to win 2-1
Sunday 14, October. 17:00 GMT
Russia to be leading at half-time
Sunday 14, October. 17:00 GMT