Germany – Italy: Die Mannschaft Thrash Italy With The Flick Of A Switch (5-2)
Germany were hosting Italy exactly 10 days after their last meeting on the first matchday of the new Nations League campaign. That game ended in a 1-1 draw, but this one went slightly differently as the scoreline suggests.
Tactical analysis and match report by Neel Shelat.
Germany’s Nations League campaign had been less than ideal at the halfway stage. They were unbeaten in their three games, but each of those had ended in a 1-1 draw so they were just one point away from the bottom spot. For them, though, this was primarily preparation for the World Cup, and in that context, things were going well as Hansi Flick was able to try out a number of formations and give minutes to various players.
Italy, of course, would not be in the World Cup, but Roberto Mancini too used this tournament as a chance to test new players on the international stage. His side was unbeaten as well, and they were one point away from the top spot having beaten Hungary and drawn with Germany and Italy.
Germany reverted to their usual 4-2-3-1 formation for this game, with Manuel Neuer in goal behind a back four of Lukas Klostermann, Niklas Süle, Antonio Rüdiger and David Raum. Joshua Kimmich joined İlkay Gündoğan in midfield behind Thomas Müller, whilst Jonas Hofmann and Leroy Sané operated as the wingers and Timo Werner played through the middle.
Italy lined up in their typical 4-3-3 shape, which saw Gianluigi Donnarumma between the sticks. Gianluca Mancini and Alessandro Bastoni were at the heart of defense with Davide Calabria and Leandro Spinazzola operating as the fullbacks . . .