Italy are coming off a 83-86 loss to Australia. They have a record of one win and one loss in the event. Meanwhile, Nigeria have lost both their games and will be desperate for a win against the Italians.
Fixture - Italy vs Nigeria | Olympics 2021 Men's Basketball.
Date & Time - Saturday, July 31st, 12:40 AM Eastern Time (Saturday, July 31st, 10:10 AM IST).
Venue - Saitama Super Arena, Saitama, Japan.
The Italians have displayed impeccable shooting efficiency, registering splits of 56-41-81 in the two games that they have played. They have also been extremely judicious with the ball as well, committing just 8 turnovers so far. Italy are second in their group, and a win against Nigeria will all but confirm their entry to the knockouts.
Golden State Warriors starlet Nico Mannion and Simone Fontechhio scored 21 and 22 points respectively in the game against Australia, and the duo expected to do the bulk of the scoring on Saturday as well. Atlanta Hawks' Danilo Gallinari had an underwhelming outing, and will want to redeem himself with a strong performance.
Team News: Italy
Italy have no injuries ahead of the game against Nigeria.
The Italians will start a backcourt of Nico Mannion and Stefano Tonut, with Somine Fontecchio taking up the small forward spot. Nicolo Melli and Achille Polonara will start at the 4 and 5.
Michele Vitali will split minutes with Polonara, while Danilo Gallinari will be Italy's sixth man.
Italy Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Nico Mannion | Shooting Guard - Stefano Tonut | Small Forward - Simone Fontecchio | Power Forward - Nicolo Melli | Center - Achille Polonara
Also Check out: Italy Men's Olympic Basketball Team 2021
Nigeria were expected to perform well at the 2021 Olympics following their shock win over Team USA in the warm-up game. However, they have been quite disappointing, and now face Italy in a must-win game.
Except for Jordan Nwora, no other player put in a satisfactory performance against Germany, and a repeat of that performance against Italy could essentially knock Nigeria out of the competition.
Nigeria have a strong roster with numerous NBA players like Jahlil Okafor and Josh Okogie, and they should be able to match up with the Italians fairly well.
Team News: Nigeria
Nigeria have a fully-fit squad ahead of their game against Italy.
Miye Yoni and Gabe Vincent will start in Nigeria's backcourt. Timberwolves' Josh Okogie will play the role of a defensive stopper and will start at the 3, while Chimezie Metu will man the other forward position.
Jahlil Okafor scored 9 points and grabbed 2 rebounds in the loss against Germany, and he is expected to retain his place as the team's starting center.
Jordan Nwora and Precious Achiuwa will come off the bench to provide an offensive boost.
Nigeria Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Miye Oni | Shooting Guard - Gabe Vincent | Small Forward - Josh Okogie | Power Forward - Chimezie Metu | Center - Jahlil Okafor.
Italy vs Nigeria Prediction
Nigeria have found it difficult to strike a balance between defense and offense, and Italy are firm favorites going into this enticing clash. The Italians fell marginally short against the Australians, but the game against Nigeria will be relatively easier in all likelihood.
The Italians should progress further with an easy win, while Nigeria is expected to crash out of the event without a single win.
Where to watch Italy vs Nigeria game?
NBC's streaming service, Peacock, will televise the game, as will Eurosport and Discovery +.
In India, the match will be shown on Sony channels, including Sony Ten 1, Sony Ten 3 and Sony ESPN, and the SonyLiv app
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Also Checkout: Tokyo Olympic Basketball teams and Players