I’ll be the first one to say it - watching Italy likely won’t be as fun anymore knowing that these games are likely meaningless at this point and Italy will likely be aiming to qualify to the World Cup through the second place playoff.
The Azzurri were manhandled by the Spanish team earlier this week in a 3-0 display, and that was enough for many to finally formulate their opinions on manager Gian Piero Ventura. As you can guess, many fans of Italian Soccer are not happy that he is at the helm, and that he opted to start two central midfielders against Spain.
Regardless, Italy’s best bet at this point is to win the rest of their games and hope that Spain drops points, not once but twice. Next up in their way is Israel, who is sitting on 9 points. When these teams last met, Italy was victorious at a score of 3-2 in Israel. Candreva, Immobile and Graziano Pelle scored on the night, while Chiellini was sent off with two red cards.
Location: Mapei Stadium (Home of Sassuolo)
Kick-off time: 8:45 p.m. local time in Italy; 7:45 p.m. in the United Kingdom; 2:45 p.m. on the East Coast; 11:45 a.m. on the West Coast
Italy XI (4-2-4): Buffon; Conti, Barzagli, Astori, Darmian; Candreva, De Rossi, Verratti, Insigne; Immobile, Belotti.
Israel XI: Harush; Davidzada, Tzedek, Ben Haim, Keltjens; Natcho; Melikson, Cohen, Kabha, Refaelov; Shechter.
Two Juventino in the lineup, best of luck to them.