With Friday’s win over England meaning their Nations League destiny remains in their own hands, Italy can snatch first place from hosts Hungary with victory at the Puskas Arena on Monday.
Aiming to make up a two-point deficit on the final day of the League A Group 3 campaign, the Azzurri are therefore set to name a full-strength lineup in Budapest – particularly as they will be absent from the big stage in Qatar this winter.
Napoli striker Giacomo Raspadori netted the decisive goal against Gareth Southgate‘s now-relegated side on Friday night, and he is likely to be retained alongside either former Sassuolo teammate Gianluca Scamacca or last season’s Serie A top scorer Ciro Immobile.
The latter faces a race to be fit after sustaining a thigh injury that kept him sidelined in Milan, but will be keen to end a 15-month international goal drought if selected at the apex of a probable 3-5-2.
Roberto Mancini intimated that such a system would be employed regardless of Immobile’s availability against England, and should the Italy coach persist with that setup then Giovanni Di Lorenzo and Federico Dimarco are set to keep their places on the right and left flank respectively.
With Leonardo Spinazzola and Manuel Lazzari both omitted from the current La Nazionale selection, only Scamacca’s West Ham United colleague Emerson Palmieri is a viable alternative out wide.
Mancini also opted against calling up Milan’s Davide Calabria and Roma forward Nicolo Zaniolo this month, but recent Leeds United signing Wilfried Gnonto is in the squad again and will surely feature as a substitute at some point in the second half.
As midfield trio Marco Verratti, Lorenzo Pellegrini and Sandro Tonali all joined Napoli winger Matteo Politano in withdrawing due to injury, Davide Frattesi was a late call-up, and after making a cameo from the bench at San Siro can now compete with Bryan Cristante for a place in midfield.
Another area of competition is at the back, where Inter defenders Alessandro Bastoni and Francesco Acerbi battle it out for inclusion to the left of captain Leonardo Bonucci.
Italy possible starting lineup: Donnarumma; Toloi, Bonucci, Bastoni; Di Lorenzo, Barella, Jorginho, Frattesi, Dimarco; Raspadori, Immobile