UEFA's Nations League will take centre stage for the next 10 days as Europe's top leagues go on a scheduled break. To kick things off, Euro 2020 finalists Italy and England will collide in a mouth-watering and highly anticipated clash, and on the same day Germany and Hungary will square off in another expected thriller.
Event # 1 – UEFA NAT, Italy vs England – 6:30 am
Italy will host England in the battle of the heavyweights in League A of the Nations League today, Friday, September 23. Both teams suffered heavy losses in their most recent matches, with Italy aiming to bounce back from the 5-2 hammering meted out to them by Germany while England will be looking to recover from an embarrassing 4-0 trouncing by surprise group leaders Hungary. Indeed, the shock elimination from the World Cup finals seems to have impacted the Italians negatively as they have won just two of their last six matches since, with their last defeat a heavy one from Germany.
The Three Lions, England, have had a rough few months, having lost two and drawn two of their last four matches, with their most recent outing an embarrassing Hungarian drubbing — a result that shocked the football fraternity. Worryingly for England is the fact that they have failed to score in three of their last four matches, but they might see this game as the perfect opportunity to avenge the Euro 2020 finals defeat to the Italians. On a brighter note, the Italians have a poor head-to-head record against England in recent times, having registered just one win in normal time in their last six games.
• Italy – have won two of their last nine games (D4 L3), losing 5-2 to Germany in June in their last match. They haven't lost consecutive games since June 2014 in the World Cup group stages against Costa Rica and Uruguay.
• England – have won none of their last five away matches against Italy (D2 L3), scoring only one goal — an Andros Townsend strike in a 1-1 draw in March 2015. Their last away win over the Italians was in May 1961 in a friendly, a 3-2 victory with goals from Gerry Hitchens (two) and Jimmy Greaves.
• Both sides – Italy and England have drawn each of their last four meetings, twice in friendlies (March 2015 and March 2018), once in the Euros final (July 2021, Italy won on penalties), and once in the UEFA Nations League (June 2022).
The betting tip: Draw and under 2.5 goals.
Event # 2 UEFA NAT – Germany vs Hungary – 1:45 pm
Germany have the opportunity to move to the top of Group A3 of the UEFA Nations League when they host surprise leaders Hungary. The Germans will enter this clash in excellent form — having won all seven World Cup Qualifiers they have played since August 2021 — but they haven't taken that form over to the Nations League, having three successive 1-1 draws with Italy, England, and Hungary. But the Germans finally ended their winless run with a 5-2 battering of Italy in their last match in June.
The Hungarians, on the other hand, are surprising Group 3 leaders, beating England twice during this run, and they have proven a revelation in the Nations League top tier so far, having performed above expectations in what was considered the 'group of death' at Euro 2020 where they gained two points from three games against the likes of Portugal, France, and Germany — although that points tally could have been higher had they not conceded extremely late goals against Germany. So, it should not have come as a surprise to see them leading the group after four matches. The Hungarians have been solid away from home recently, having lost only two of their last 13 road games. They will travel to Germany with hopes of continuing their good head-to-head record against the Germans, having not lost in their last two meetings, with the most recent being a 1-1 draw back in June.
• Germany – have seen under 2.5 goals in 6 of their last 8 matches (European Championship) and have seen under 2.5 goals in 7 of their last 9 matches against Hungary.
• Hungary –are undefeated in 12 of their last 13 matches (all competitions). They have seen under 2.5 goals in 3 of their last 4 matches in all competitions.
• Both sides – Germany have a 13-11 advantage against Hungary with 10 draws in 34 matches. However, they have failed to defeat Hungary in their last two head-to-head meetings, with both games ending in 1-1 stalemates.
The betting tip: Germany win.