Our prediction for this Nations League match:
Top position in League A Group 3 will be at stake when Italy and Portugal face each other at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on Saturday evening. The Azzurri did well to beat Poland 1-0 in their last group game and they are now on a quest to get their revenge on Portugal for the defeat in Lisbon. Lorenzo Insigne, who has netted seven goals with Napoli in the Serie A this term, will be the man to watch in the home team. Portugal will once again be without Cristiano Ronaldo and it remains to be seen if they are capable of keeping their 100% record intact in the UEFA Nations League. In CR7’s absence all eyes will be on Sevilla attacker Andre Silva, who is likely to pose a big threat for the opposition defenders. Portugal are more of a team than Italy and we predict that Fernando Santos’ men are going to prove their worth on the field.
Highlighted Player (Leonardo Bonucci):
Over the years Leonardo Bonucci has established himself as one of Juve’s key defenders. The 190-cm-tall centre back, who is capable of playing as a right back as well, was born in Viterbo on 1 May, 1987 and he started his senior career at Inter. However, he made no more than one league appearance for the Nerrazzurri between 2005 and 2009.
After ending his loan spells with the likes of Treviso and Pisa, he joined Bari in 2009 and he scored one goal in 38 league games for the club. Juventus signed him in July, 2010 for a fee of €15.5 million. Leonardo Bonucci won his fifth Scudetto with Juve in the 2015/2016 season and he played in the 2014/2015 Champions League final against Barcelona. However, the Bianconeri were beaten by Barca in the title game.
Bonucci made his Italy debut on 3 March, 2010 and two years later he participated in the Euro 2012 final against Spain. The Azzurri were hammered by Vicente del Bosque’s troops 4-0 in the Olympic Stadium clash.
Highlighted Team (Portugal):
Portugal started competing at the biggest stage in the 1930’s, but they had to wait for almost seventy years to establish themselves as a top side. The third place finish at the 1966 World Cup was a one-off result as the Selecao needed another 40 years to get past the group stage, reaching the semi-finals at the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
Portugal enjoyed more success on the continent, finishing third at the 1984, 2000 and 2012 European Championships, while losing in the final to Greece at the Euro 2004 that was held on home soil. Despite being able to count on one of world’s best ever footballers Cristiano Ronaldo, the Selecao have yet to lift a major trophy and they will not have too many opportunities to do so before the Real Madrid superstar retires.
Eusebio remains the most famous footballer to have played for Portugal, while Luis Figo, Simao Sabrosa, Pedro Pauleta, Rui Costa and Nani are also worth mention. The Selecao currently boast an impressive pool of world-class talent and it should not be long before they end the trophy drought.