Despite picking up 5pts from their four matches in the last Nations League tournament, Italy had to settle for second place in Group A3 behind Portugal and failed to qualify for the Nations League Finals.
Friday’s opponents Bosnia & Herzegovina earned promotion to the Nations League A after they topped Group B3 ahead of Austria and Northern Ireland, picking up 10pts from a possible 12.
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These two countries know each other well having gone up against one another in the European Championship qualifiers last year, where Italy secured a 2-1 win at home and a 3-0 win in Bosnia. Before that the pairs last encounter was way back in 1996 and was surprisingly won by Bosnia & Herzegovina 2-1.
Where and When is Italy v Bosnia game being played?
The game is being played at the Stadio Artemio Franchi in Florence, kickoff time is 19:45GMT. The referee is Sidiropoulos T. (Greece)
36-year old Giorgio Chiellini has 103 international caps to his name and will lead the Italians out on Friday and could be joined in the centre of defence by Lenardo Bonucci who himself has played 95 times at senior level for his country.
The Italy squad is largely made up of domestically based players other than a few exceptions, Moise Kean of Everton, Jorginho of Chelsea and Stephan El Shaarawy who plies his trade in China.
Bosnia & Herzegovina, on the other hand, only boast two domestically based players in their squad, Branimir Cipetic and Vladan Danilovic, and are still captained by the ever-green Edin Dzeko.
Dzecko, now 34, still plays at the top level of domestic football with AS Roma and has netted 58 goals in 107 caps for his country and is someone the Italians defenders will know all too well.
The other star of this generation of Bosnia & Herzegovina, Miralem Pjanic now plays for Barcelona but had to withdraw from the national team squad and his creativity will be sorely missed.
With the home advantage, it’s hard to see this Italy side picking up anything but the 3pts on Friday and we have backed the hosts to win-to-nil.
Italy have won each of their last six international matches and have kept three clean sheets in their last four outings.
Bosnia & Herzegovina have lost three of their last five games, two of which arrived on the road against Armenia and Greece, who aren’t exactly tough opponents, while the other defeat came at home to Italy.