The United States men’s national team will play the second of two friendlies in Europe during this international window on Tuesday, when they face Italy at the Luminus Arena in Genk, Belgium.
After a 3-0 loss to England at Wembley Stadium on Thursday, the USA will be looking to acquit themselves better against another strong opponent. Interim manager Dave Sarachan has some big selection decisions to make in what may turn out to be one of his final fixtures in the role.
Having finished in second place in their UEFA Nations League group and failed to make the finals of the competition, Italy will be looking to finish their year in style with a strong performance. Manager Roberto Mancini watched his team draw 0-0 with Portugal on Saturday.
Here are the key broadcast details for this encounter, the latest odds and a preview of what’s to come from this showdown in Belgium.
Date: Tuesday, November 20
Time: 7:45 p.m. (GMT), 2:45 p.m. (ET)
TV Info: Fox Sports 1 (U.S.), Sky Sports Red Button (UK)
Live Stream: Fox Sports GO (U.S.), Sky Sports Go (UK)
There was a lot of excitement about what the United States would showcase at Wembley when they took on England, although the team appeared a little daunted by the occasion.
In the end, a much-changed Three Lions side showed their class, with the three-goal margin of victory warranted. The USMNT were bossed in midfield throughout, meaning they were unable to exert any kind of control on the fixture.
After the game, Sarachan said his team were outmanoeuvred in important areas of the field:
Broadcaster Nate Abaurrea thinks it’s time for the United States to begin a new era with a new man in charge:
In terms of personnel for the game against Italy, the team’s Twitter account confirmed on Monday that 23 players would be available following Kenny Saief’s injury. Following some rotten recent luck with injuries, Sebastian Lletget is also expected to start after he came off the bench late on against England.
The United States will go into this game as an underdog, too, as Italy have numerous quality footballers and have steadied the ship somewhat under Mancini.
They may have failed to qualify for the Nations League finals after their stalemate with Portugal, but they have moved on significantly from 12 months ago, when the team reached a nadir by failing to qualify for theFIFA World Cup in Russia.
Per Squawka Football, the Italians are tough to beat at the moment, but they are struggling to find a cutting edge in front of their own supporters:
The Italian Football TV account noted that Mancini is putting his faith in a younger generation following the World Cup failure:
It will be intriguing to see what type of lineup Mancini opts for here, as he may consider looking at a few fringe players in a non-competitive fixture before the end of the calendar year.
Up front, Matteo Politano is one to watch, as he wasn’t involved at all against Portugal despite a strong start to the season for Inter Milan.
While Italy aren’t as vibrant going forward as England, they are solid in defence and that will be a worry to a USA team that is already overreliant on Christian Pulisic in the final third.
As such, it’s set to be another tough evening for Sarachan and his players at both ends of the pitch.