Azzurri’s not having it easy – International friendly

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The international break kicks off on Wednesday with The Azzurri’s taking on Ukraine in a friendly game. They will be looking to end a four-game winless run even though it’s supposed to be a friendly encounter. Read on for tips and general match preview.


For Italy, the last couple of years have been one of the darkest. All indications show that they are still a long way from recovering their glory days. For this test, they face a Ukrainian side who also failed to make it to the World cup. The Ukraine side would, however, be heading to Genoa, the venue for this encounter on good form.

In the wake of their failure to qualify for the world cup, Roberto Mancini has his eye on getting the team back up. He would be saddled with the task of overhauling and rebuilding the Italian side. He was victorious I his first game in charge as they beat Saudi Arabia by a 2-1 scoreline. But have been unable to repeat the feat ever since.
They have now gone four games without a win. This is with the inclusion of their dismal start to the UEFA nation’s league campaign last month. A draw with Poland on home soil and a defeat away in Portugal might see their drop to the lower tier of the competition. They still have a match with Poland come this weekend and this game might just create the necessary preparation.


Andriy Shevchenko, manager of Ukraine and a well-known figure in Italy didn’t make a fairytale start to his career as a manager. Nevertheless, with 2018 in retrospect, they haven’t lost a game since the end of their world cup qualifying campaign. This stat could see them go into this game with a real boost on confidence.
However, their opponents have managed just one win since their poor show of form in the world cup qualifiers. Overall, it’s just one win in nine games and that is a very poor way to go. The departure of legends from the Italian team has hit them hard and the young talents haven’t hit the ground running.

Ukraine holds this competition in high esteem considering that they have two wins from two matches, Czech Republic and Slovakia. They could secure a place into the EURO 2020 as they are now well placed in the group. They take on the Czechs once more in their own backyard next week as they look to cement their spot.
The Azzurri are clearly going through a transition stage with no more than 15players on less than 10 caps for the team. The Ukraine side certainly looks more settled.

Head to head

• Of the last four meetings, Ukraine is winless against the Azzurri’s.
• These sides have met just once in the last ten years with Italy winning that encounter.

key stats

Italy has kept a clean sheet in just 1 of their last 9 international games. This was against Sweden during the world cup qualifier playoffs.
Ukraine has failed to score in just one of their last seven outings.
They are also unbeaten in their last 6 away games. Winning 4 and drawing 2 in the process.


Italy clean sheet No

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