Bosnia and Herzegovina host Italy on Wednesday night in their final Nations League group stage fixture.
Roberto Mancini’s Italy are currently top of Group A, one point ahead of the Netherlands and two ahead of Poland. In their most recent outing, Italy beat Poland 2-0 to maintain their position at the top of the group standings.
Bosnia, however, find themselves at the foot of the table in Group A after collecting just two points from five games. The team are yet to win a game in the group, but did hold Italy to a 1-1 draw when the two sides met back in September.
Edin Dzeko is expected to undergo another coronavirus test to determine whether he still has the virus after testing positive last week. Dzeko missed Bosnia’s previous two fixtures during this international break against the Netherlands and Iran. Armin Hodzic will likely come in for the Roma striker should he still have the virus.
In more positive news for manager Dusan Bajevic, Anel Ahmedhodzic will be available for selection after missing the Nations League tie against the Netherlands due to a one-match ban.
Italy manager Mancini has also tested positive for coronavirus and took charge of Italy’s win over Poland from the comfort of his own home. Mancini will be without Giorgio Chiellini, Alessio Romagnoli and Angelo Ogbonna due to injuries, with Alessandro Bastoni and Marco Ferrari coming into the squad as their replacements.
Leonardo Bonucci, Vicenzo Grifo and Moise Kean have all been sent back to their respective clubs, however, following injuries.
Bosnia and Herzegovina: Sehic; Cipetic, Hadzikadunic, Ahmedhodzic, Kolasinac; Pjanic, Cirmirot; Visca, Gojak, Krunic; Hodzic.
Italy: Donnarumma; D’Ambrosio, Bastoni, Ferrari, Spinazzola; Barella, Jorginho, Locatelli; El Shaarawy, Immobile, Chiesa.
It’s a tale of differing fortunes as Italy prepare to travel to Bosnia on Wednesday night.
Mancini’s side are top of their Nations League group after winning two and drawing three of their five matches. Although the group can still be won by Poland or the Netherlands, Italy know victory against Bosnia will be enough to see them finish top of the pack. The Azzurri come into this fixture off the back of two wins during this international break.
As for Bosnia, two draws and three defeats have left them at the foot of Group A with just two points after five games. One of those points came in a 1-1 draw against Italy in September, but Bajevic’s side have since suffered two defeats against Poland and a recent 3-1 loss to the Netherlands.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Netherlands 3-1 Bosnia and Herzegovina (15/11)
Bosnia and Herzegovina 0-2 Iran (12/11)
Poland 3-0 Bosnia and Herzegovina (14/10)
Bosnia and Herzegovina 0-0 Netherlands (11/10)
Bosnia and Herzegovina 1-1 [won on penalties] Northern Ireland (8/10)
Italy 2-0 Poland (15/11)
Italy 4-0 Estonia (11/11)
Italy 1-1 Netherlands (14/10)
Poland 0-0 Italy (11/10)
Italy 6-0 Moldova (7/10)
Despite being plagued by injuries during this international break, Italy know that a win against Bosnia will be enough to see them finish top of Group A in the Nations League.
The players that are expected to come in for the Azzurri, along with the potential absence of Dzeko for Bosnia, will likely tip the tie in favour of the Italians.
Prediction: Bosnia and Herzegovina 0-2 Italy