Netherlands host Italy in both teams' second fixture in their UEFA Nations League Group. The Dutch got off to a winning start with a 1-0 win over Poland, but Italy were rather subdued in a 1-1 draw in Florence against Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Dutch are looking to go one better than their second-place finish in the inaugural edition of the Nations League and, having started in the right vein, they know that a win against the Azzurri would help them take complete control of the group.
For Italy, a loss might not yet be terminal, but it would certainly leave them with a big task on their hands, if they had to leapfrog the Dutch from five points behind with four group games left.
Netherlands vs Italy Head-to-Head
The last meeting between the two sides was in a friendly in June 2018, when neither side made it to the FIFA World Cup in Russia.
That match ended 1-1, with Simone Zaza's opener for Italy canceled out by a late Nathan Ake equaliser.
Netherlands vs Italy Team News
Caretaker head coach Dwight Lodeweges is not expected to make too many changes from the side that played against Poland. However, with the intention of keeping players fresh and protecting their fitness ahead of the start of the new season, some changes may become a necessity.
That could see the likes of Donny van de Beek and Owen Wijndal potentially in line for places in the starting XI, as Lodeweges begins to put in place the pieces for the post-Ronald Koeman era.
Nathan Ake and Hans Hateboer were both impressive in the win over Poland, but Ake isn't a left-back by trade, so that could tempt the Dutch to give the AZ Alkmaar man Wijndal an opportunity.
Luuk de Jong is in impressive form too, after his UEFA Europa League heroics for Sevilla, but with Memphis Depay firmly settled in his central role fo the Dutch, it's hard to see how De Jong wins a place in the starting XI.
Italy head coach Roberto Mancini confirmed after the last game against Bosnia and Herzegovina that Giorgio Chiellini would definitely play in this game, ahead of Francesco Acerbi.
Chiellini is likely to be paired with his Juventus teammate and fellow experienced head Leonardo Bonucci, while Ciro Immobile is also expected to feature from the start, having been on the bench for the last game, before he replaced Andrea Belotti in the second half.
Mancini has handed out first call-ups to Inter Milan's promising young centre-back Alessandro Bastoni and the Sassuolo duo of midfielder Manuel Locatelli and striker Francesco Caputo, but none of them featured against Bosnia and Herzegovina.
It is unlikely that they will play any part in a higher profile fixture such as this one, with the Dutch being in such good form, especially at home, where they have beaten the likes of France and Germany in the last two years.
Netherlands vs Italy Predicted XIs
Netherlands (4-3-3): Jasper Cillessen, Hans Hateboer, Joel Veltman, Virgil van Dijk, Owen Wijndal, Marten de Roon, Frenkie de Jong, Georginio Wijnaldum, Quincy Promes, Steven Bergwijn, Memphis Depay
Italy (4-3-3): Gianluigi Donnarumma; Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini, Cristiano Biraghi; Nicolo Barella, Jorginho, Roberto Gagliardini; Federico Chiesa, Ciro Immobile, Nicolo Zaniolo
Netherlands vs Italy Predictions
Even with some players having pulled out of the Italy squad, this looks a very even match-up. The Dutch are possibly the ones with the better recent results, but they don't really count for anything, considering that both teams have played just one international game since November 2019.
On paper, this is a clash of equals, and if there is a winner, it is going to be decided by a moment of inspiration or a mistake.
Prediction: Netherlands 1-1 Italy