Portugal v Italy: line-ups, coaches' views, form guide

European champions Portugal get under way against an Italy side that began their campaign with a draw.

Italy check out the pitch ahead of their UEFA Nations League game against Portugal
Italy check out the pitch ahead of their UEFA Nations League game against Portugal ©Getty Images

HOW THE NATIONS LEAGUE WORKS

Possible line-ups

Portugal: Patrício; Cancelo, Pepe, Dias, Mário Rui; Rúben Neves; William, Pizzi, Bernardo Silva, Gelson, André Silva

Italy: Donnarumma; Lazzari, Bonucci, Chiellini, Criscito; Gagliardini, Jorginho, Bonaventura; Chiesa, Immobile, Bernardeschi

Reporter's view: Carlos Machado (@UEFAcomCarlosM)

The mood is positive after Thursday's draw with Croatia. This is a young team built around a spine of three UEFA EURO 2016 winners (Rui Patrício, Pepe and William), and Bernardo Silva. Bruma, Rúben Neves and João Cancelo all shone. The only negative was converting chances in the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo so don't expect many goals in Lisbon, especially with Italy still feeling their way under Roberto Mancini.

Italy warming up for the Portugal game
Italy warming up for the Portugal game©Getty Images

What the coaches say

Fernando Santos, Portugal coach
We look at the UEFA Nations League with total commitment. It is a new competition and we are totally interested in playing it and winning it. We will not look at this as a minor competition. But this is also the beginning of a new cycle, a cycle that ends at UEFA EURO 2020, where we will defend our European title so we have to be prepared for it. We believe this is the group of players we should have with us.

Roberto Mancini, Italy coach
I will change a few players compared to the game against Poland, and we could change the playing system too. In the first half [against Poland] we missed too many easy passes; in the second half we were much better. We have to rediscover the performance of the second half in Bologna and earn a better result in Portugal. We need to win games to restore morale within the team and among our fans.

Form guide

Portugal's EURO 2016 final win
Portugal's EURO 2016 final win

Portugal

2018 World Cup
Qualifying – 1st in Group B (W9 D0 L1)
Final tournament – round of 16 (W1 D2 L1)

Last five matches (most recent first): DLDWD

Italy

2018 World Cup
Qualifying – 2nd in Group G (W7 D2 L1), lost 0-1agg to Sweden in play-offs
Final tournament – Did not qualify

Last five matches (most recent first): DDLWD

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