The Netherlands and Italy meet in the 2022-23 UEFA Nations League third-place match in De Groolch-Veste, the Netherlands, on Sunday 18 June. With less than an hour left until kick-off, both teams announced their starting line-ups for the match.

Italy made sweeping changes to their squad, dropping seven players from the starting line-up who started in their 2-1 loss to Spain in the semi-finals. Gianluigi Donnarumma, Francesco Acerbi, Rafael Tolli and Davide Frattisi are the only players who have kept their places in the squad.

Ciro Immobile, Nicolo Zaniolo, Nicolo Barella, Jorginho, Leonardo Spinazzola, Giovanni Di Lorenzo and Leonardo Bonucci lost their places in the squad. Alessandro Bongiorno, Federico DiMarco, Brian Cristante, Marco Verratti, Wilfred Genonto, Giacomo Raspodori and Matteo Rettigui start in their place.

Not many Italy fans are into choosing Roberto Mancini’s team. The tactician’s decision to start Acerbi, Toloi and Buongiorno, in particular, was met with criticism, with one fan tweeting:

“That back line again. Mancini has officially lost it.”

@tweet That back line again 🤮 Mancini has officially lost it

Another tweet:

“Mancini is just throwing darts at the board and picking his XI at this point. Embarrassing.”

@tweet Mancini only darted the board for his eleventh picks at this point. embarrassed

Meanwhile, the Netherlands made just one change to the squad that lost 4-2 to Croatia in the Nations League semi-finals. Club Brugge winger Noa Lang replaced Atalanta midfielder Teun Koopmeiners.

However, Ronald Koeman’s decision not to start on loan from Manchester United, Wout Weghorst, drew criticism, with one fan tweeting:

“No Weghorst, no party.”

Another tweet:

“(Virgil) Van Dijk guarantees defeat for the Dutch.”

Here are more reactions to the Netherlands’ starting line-up to face Italy in the Nations League third-place match:

@employee Noah Lang Rock and Roll Football Rules

Justin Bellew starts in goal orange, with Denzel Dumfries, Lucharel Gertruida, Virgil van Dijk and Nathan Ake playing opposite him. Mats Weaver, Frenkie de Jong and Xavi Simmons play in midfield, while Donyell Malan, Cody Gakbo and Lang make up the attack.

How have the Netherlands and Italy fared in previous UEFA Nations League matches?

Italy qualified for the UEFA Nations League semi-finals after finishing first in League A Group C. They got 11 points, won three and drew two of their six matches. Gli Azzurri beat Hungary (twice) and England to advance to the quarter-finals of the competition.

But Italy’s Nations League hopes ended after losing 2-1 to Spain on Friday (June 16). Jeremi Pino and Joselo found the net for La Roja, while Ciro Immobile scored a penalty for Roberto Mancini’s side.

Meanwhile, the Netherlands qualified for the semi-finals after finishing first in Group D of the First Division. They were unbeaten in their group, winning five and drawing one of their six matches. The Orange team beat Belgium and Wales twice, while Poland was the only team that got points from them.

Then Ronald Koeman’s side lost 4-2 to Croatia in an entertaining semi-final. The score was 2-2 at the end of 90 minutes, but extra-time goals from Bruno Petković and Luka Modrić took Croatia into the final.

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Editing by Dekir Muhammed Thanevir


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