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Italy v Poland facts

Italy are unbeaten in their four competitive matches with Poland as the teams meet in Bologna.

Gianluca Mancini celebrates Italy's win against Spain
Gianluca Mancini celebrates Italy's win against Spain ©Sportsfile

Italy will seek to extend their unbeaten UEFA European Under-21 Championship record against Poland to five matches when the teams meet in Bologna in the second round of Group A games.

• Both teams were victorious in their first fixtures after conceding the first goal, Italy beating Spain 3-1 while Poland picked up their first ever finals victory by overcoming Belgium 3-2 in the tournament's opening match.

Previous meetings
• Italy have not lost in four competitive U21 matches against Poland, although this will be the teams' first fixture in the final tournament. The sides last crossed paths in the play-offs for the 2002 edition, the Azzurrini winning 5-2 in the Warsaw first leg and by the same aggregate score following a goalless draw in Reggio Calabria.

• The countries shared two 1-1 draws in qualifying for the 1998 tournament, although neither reached the finals in Romania.

• Alessandro Bastoni, Nicolò Zaniolo and substitute Sandro Tonali were in the Italy side that beat Poland 4-3 in the European U19 Championship elite round in March 2018.

Highlights: Italy 3-1 Spain

Form guide
• Italy have qualified for ten of the 12 final tournaments since 1998. They have reached the semi-finals or better in six of those previous nine appearances, claiming the trophy in 2000 and 2004.

• Italy were also champions for three tournaments running between 1992 and 1996, and reached the 1986 final.

• Despite the matchday one defeat of Spain, the Azzurrini have still won only four of their last nine matches in the final tournament (D1 L4).

• Italy have played 17 friendlies since 1 September 2017 (W7 D4 L6). The only win in their last six prior to this tournament came against Tunisia, 2-0 in October 2018 (D2 L3), a four-match winless run ending with that opening-night victory against Spain.

• Poland are in the final tournament for the second time; two years ago, as hosts, they finished fourth in Group A behind England, Slovakia and Sweden having picked up one point from their three matches.

Highlights: Poland 3-2 Belgium

• That was the Poles' first appearance in the U21 finals in the competition's current guise; they had previously reached the quarter-finals in 1994, losing 5-1 over two legs against Portugal (1-3 home, 0-2 away).

• Those 1994 matches marked Poland's fifth appearance in the last eight; they were also eliminated at that stage in 1982, 1984, 1986 and 1992.

• Although undefeated in their qualifying section, Poland had to be content with second place in Group 3 behind Denmark. The Poles took 22 points from their ten matches – one less than the Danes – winning six of their fixtures and drawing the other four. They then eliminated Portugal in the play-offs, recovering from a first-leg home defeat (0-1) to win 3-1 away.

• The defeat of Belgium was Poland's first group stage victory in the final tournament at the fourth attempt, after a draw and two defeats.

Links and trivia
• Several of Poland's squad have played in Italy:
Dawid Kownacki (Sampdoria 2017-)
Paweł Bochniewicz (Reggina 2012–14, Udinese 2014-)
Adam Buksa (Novara 2013–14)

• In addition Szymon Żurkowski (Fiorentina) and Filip Jagiełło (Genoa) will move to Italy this summer.

• Poland captain Dawid Kownacki was the top scorer in the qualifying competition, with 11 goals – ten in the group stage, including six penalties, and another in the play-offs.

• Four of Italy's U21 squad represented the senior national team in this month's UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying wins against Greece in Athens (3-0) and Bosnia & Herzegovina in Turin (2-1). Nicolò Barella played 90 minutes in both games, opening the scoring against Greece, with Federico Chiesa starting and Lorenzo Pellegrini coming off the bench in Athens. Gianluca Mancini also started against Bosnia & Herzegovina, Chiesa appearing as a half-time substitute.