Italy beat Hungary for spot in Nations League finals

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Italy clinched a place in the Nations League final four with a 2-0 win away to Hungary thanks to goals by Giacomo Raspadori and Federico Dimarco in their last League A-Group 3 game on Monday.

European champions Italy, who missed out on a place at the World Cup in Qatar,

finished top on 11 points from six games,

one point above second-placed Hungary who needed to avoid defeat to secure a place in their first Nations League semi-finals.

Raspadori took advantage of a mistake by the defence in the 27th minute to convert a rebound from the edge of the box.

Hungary then had a great chance to equalise just after the break but goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma kept out a flurry of shots by Loic Nego,

Callum Styles and captain Adam Szalai, who on ended his international career after the match.

Midfielder Dimarco made it 2-0 for the visitors

in the 52nd minute when he blasted the ball into the roof of the net from close range.

“We were excellent for 70 minutes. The last 20 I didn’t like too much,

” Italy coach Roberto Mancini said.

“It’s important to have reached the Nations League final four for the second time,

but the previous results unfortunately remain.

“Let’s say that we were good at restarting and setting up a group that has values on which you can work.

“The goal? It’s bypassing the month of December,” he added,

with his team sidelined for the World Cup which runs from Nov. 20-Dec. 18.

Italy join Croatia and the Netherlands in next year’s finals tournament,

while Spain and Portugal will play in Braga on Tuesday for the last spot available.

It kicks off at the Puskas Arena in Budapest at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT).

Marco Rossi’s Hungary have shocked everyone by leading the group on 10 points,

including victories over England and Germany, followed by Italy on eight,

Germany six and England two.

The Azzurri are so far the only side to have beaten them, 2-1 in June,

and a win would allow them to reach the Final Four.

Italy are fresh from a 1-0 win over England on Friday,

while Hungary earned a 1-0 result away to Germany.

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The winner of this tie will win the group,

though a draw will be enough for Hungary

Italy and Hungary will battle it out for top spot in their UEFA Nations League group on Monday when they go head-to-head in the final game of the campaign.

Hungary sit two points ahead of the Azzurri heading into this match,

but the latter got the better of the hosts when they last met.

In fact, Roberto Mancini’s team are the only side to have beaten Hungary in the Nations League and will be hoping to repeat that success.

Italy players Alessio Zerbin, Giacomo Raspadori,

Gianluca Scamacca,

Manolo Gabbiadini and Vincenzo Grifo are all available at odds of 13/2 (5.50) to net the opening goal of the match on Monday evening.

Hungary duo Adam Szalai and Martin Adam are available at 15/2 (8.50) to break the deadlock in Hungary’s favour.

Italy will be high in confidence heading into this match.

Not only are they the only team to have beaten Hungary in this Nations League campaign,

they are approaching this tie off the back of a win against England last week.

Roberto Mancini could opt to use the same team in that clash, with Giacomo Raspadori and Gianluca Scamacca leading the attack.

Hungary will be no pushovers, however, given they are top of the group and have already beaten England and Germany to put them top of the table heading into the final match.

Both teams found the net when these sides met before and the hosts are in fine goal scoring form, too. So backing both teams to score at a generous 6/5 (2.2) is a tempting bet.

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