The top two teams in UEFA World Cup qualifying Group C collide on Sunday as Switzerland seeks a win over Euro 2020 champion Italy.
Italy travels to St. Jakob-Park in Basel having dropped points for the first time in the World Cup qualifying when it drew 1-1 at home to Bulgaria on Thursday. Italy still remains four points clear of its nearest competition in Group C.
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Date: Sept. 5, 2021
Time: 2:45 p.m. ET
TV: TUDNxtra 1
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Italy coach Roberto Mancini has now successfully guided the team to 35 straight games unbeaten.
When Italy and Switzerland met during the group stage of Euro 2020, Manuel Locatelli scored either side of half-time to help Italy complete a 3-0 win.
Switzerland coach Murat Yakin got his tenure off to a successful start as Switzerland strode to a 2-1 home win against Greece on Thursday, but the squad has been ravaged by injury of late.
Kevin Mbabu, Breel Embolo, Mario Gavranovic, Loris Benito and Eray Cömert have each been ruled out due to injury, as has winger Xherdan Shaqiri following his summer switch to Lyon from Liverpool.
As if that list of absentees wasn’t damaging enough, Granit Xhaka has also been ruled out after he returned a positive COVID-19 test.
The odds appear stacked against the hosts with so many of their regular stars out of the running.
Manuel Lazzari, Andrea Belotti and Alex Meret are unavailable for Italy due to injury, although none among that trio was likely to start for the visitors.
Mancini is hoping to emerge unscathed in Basel and cement his place in the history books.