Friendly match: Italy Ã¢â‚¬â€œ France
Out of the friendly matches scheduled for Thursday, the one between Italy and France is easily the most interesting as it will feature a clash of two European heavyweights and traditional rivals. Italy and France did not meet at the 2016 European championship and it has actually been almost four years since these two sides battled it out the last time so their upcoming encounter will certainly be a highly prestigious and enjoyable match. As France are bringing all of their stars to Italy, they are slightly favoured to win the fixture but the Italians were in a very good shape at EURO and they will surely do their best to beat France. Kicking off at 9 PM (CET), the friendly game Italy vs. France will be played at San Nicola in Bari.
Italy did not have as star-studded outfit at the European championship as some other teams like Spain, France or Germany but they still managed deliver a solid performance in most of their matches. Squadra Azzurra might have failed to win a medal at the tournament (they got eliminated by Germany in the quarter final) but they could have been satisfied with their showing. ConteÃ‚Â´s men particularly excelled in matches against some of the tournamentÃ‚Â´s biggest favourites including Belgium (2:0) and Spain (2:0). The Italian national team have been through a major change recently as some of the former icons like Pirlo and Del Piero have been replaced by younger, less experienced players but the transformation of the squad seems to be successful so far. Italy still base their game on a solid and well-organized defence, which is what they will certainly rely on in the Thursday warm-up against France.
France failed to win the European championship they hosted earlier this year, which was a major disappointment for the French but now, the team are fully focused on the upcoming qualification for the 2018 World Cup. Les Blues will begin their qualifying campaign on September 6 with an opener against Belarus but their team are already together as they will play a preparatory duel against Italy on Thursday. France currently have what is generally considered one of their best teams ever. They actually lost just one game at EURO 2016 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ the final against Portugal Ã¢â‚¬â€œ other than that, they did very good in most of their matches. Now, looking to get ready for their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign, DeschampsÃ‚Â´ men are to face another tough opponent as they will lock horns with Italy. Having won as many as nine out of the last ten preparatory duels, France have an excellent recent record in friendly matches and they will surely try to claim another win on Thursday.
The San Nicola Stadium in Bari is about to witness a great football clash as it will host a friendly game between Italy and France on Thursday. With a number of world-class stars such as Pogba, Payet, Griezmann and Giroud in their squad, the French should dominate the possession and have the upper hand in the game but Italy, encouraged by the results they produced at EURO 2016, are confident ahead of the match. Historically, these two sidesÃ‚Â´ head-to-head statistics is almost equal and we are likely to see another tightly-contested affair. Will the renowned Italian defence manage to keep the FranceÃ‚Â´s feared strikers at bay? Or will the visitors claim another friendly victory? We will know by Thursday night.
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