Italy must raise their heads against Germany
This is the shock of this Saturday. The eternal rivals Italian and German will face Bologna in the League of Nations, during the first day of group B.
Italy, absent from the 2022 World Cup and beaten 3-0 by Argentina this week during the Intercontinental Nations Cup, has the opportunity to regain a little pride.
But the march will be high against the Germans who have not lost a single match (8 wins, 1 draw) since the arrival of Hansi Flick as coach in September 2021, even if they have not yet faced opponents as prestigious as the reigning European champion.
The former Bayern Munich coach explained in a press conference that « Germany must once again become one of the best teams in the world ». With this objective, a success in Italy, which has only happened twice in twelve trips, would send a strong signal five months before the World Cup in Qatar.
Children to circumvent UEFA ban in Hungary
The other match to follow in League A will oppose Hungary to England in front of 35,000 people at the Puskas Arena, despite a closed session decreed by UEFA following racist and homophobic slogans launched during the Euro.
To partially circumvent this sanction, the Hungarian Federation has exploited a provision of the European body allowing, in the event of closed stands, to invite children under the age of 14 who are licensed in football clubs on condition that they are accompanied one adult (UEFA Article 73 sets at least one adult for every 10 children invited).
« A real surprise for all of us, » said Gareth Southgate, England coach, in a press conference on Friday. The Three Lions, without Phil Foden positive for Covid-19, will have to ignore this particular context in order to win against the least prestigious opponent in the group.
The other matches of the day will see Ireland, Turkey and Romania on deck.