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Italy vs Netherlands: 5 key battles to watch out for | UEFA Nations League 2020-21

The Netherlands take on Italy this week
The Netherlands take on Italy this week
ANALYST
Modified 13 Oct 2020, 17:33 IST
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The UEFA Nations League is back in action with yet another high-octane fixture as the Netherlands take on Italy in a match that could potentially determine the future of both teams in the competition. Italy and the Netherlands have excellent squads coming into this game and are likely to field their best teams in what is set to be a particularly difficult fixture.

Italy picked up a crucial 1-0 victory against the Netherlands in the reverse fixture last month with Nicolo Barella scoring the only goal of the game. The Italians currently have a slim one-point lead at the top of Group 1 in the UEFA Nations League and can solidify their position at the top of the group with a victory against the Netherlands.

The Netherlands have been far below their best in recent weeks and could only manage a 0-0 stalemate against Bosnia and Herzegovina in their previous fixture. Italy were also held to a goalless draw by Poland and will have to be at their best in this game.

Frank de Boer has plenty of work to do ahead of this fixture and will need his attacking line-up to click against Italy. With plenty of world-class talent available to both managers, this game is sure to be determined by several high-profile battles.


#5 Luuk de Jong vs Francesco Acerbi

Luuk de Jong will want to make an impact in this fixture
Luuk de Jong will want to make an impact in this fixture

Luuk de Jong has emerged as the Netherlands' new hitman in the final third in recent weeks and will want to prove a point against Italy. The Sevilla striker is perfectly capable of turning a game on its head but has been far from consistent for his country.

Italy have a strong back-line and the presence of Francesco Acerbi has added a discernible element of solidity to the Azzurri defence. The Lazio defender has had an excellent string of games for Italy and will want to keep another clean sheet in this game.

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Luuk de Jong will face a stern test this Wednesday and will have to get the better of Acerbi to give the Netherlands an edge in the game. The Dutch striker is yet to establish a permanent place in Frank de Boer's side and will have an excellent opportunity this week.


#4 Georginio Wijnaldum vs Jorginho

Wijnaldum will have to get the better of Jorginho
Wijnaldum will have to get the better of Jorginho

Georginio Wijnaldum has been the driving force behind the Netherlands' midfield over the years but has not had the best month under Frank de Boer. The Dutch have struggled to create chances in the final third and the Liverpool midfielder will need to return to his best.

Wijnaldum will have to contend with Chelsea star Jorginho when the Netherlands clash with Italy on Wednesday. The two midfielders have locked horns on several occasions in the Premier League and will have to bring their experience to the fore in this game.

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Jorginho has established his place in Frank Lampard's Chelsea side and is one of Italy's best defensive midfielders. The Blues midfielder is accustomed to pulling the strings from the middle of the park and will have to deal with Georginio Wijnaldum's tenacity and energy in the midfield.


Also Read: Ukraine vs Spain prediction, preview, team news and more | UEFA Nations League 2020-21

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Published 13 Oct 2020, 17:33 IST
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