Roberto Mancini announced the starting XI for tonight’s Nations League match against Germany, including a debut for Davide Frattesi. ‘We need to risk losing a few games so we benefit in the long run.’

It kicks off at the Stadio Dall’Ara in Bologna at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT). – Premier Sports is the only place to see Italy’s UEFA Nations League games against Germany and Hungary – for only £9.99 a month.

“Italy have to play their game tonight and try to make it difficult for Germany. It won’t be easy, but we must try to focus on our own football,” the coach told RAI Sport.

In an unusual move, but one that reflects the experimental approach taken to the Nations League tournament this time around, Mancini confirmed his starting XI with all 10 outfield players changed from the side that lost 3-0 to Argentina in the Finalissima.

They include Sassuolo midfielder Frattesi getting his senior Italy debut. “Frattesi has been playing in Serie A for a while, he already spent time with us in the training camp, he is a complete midfielder who needs to gain international experience, but has important and versatile characteristics.”

This will be Mancini’s 50th game on the Italy bench and so far he has 33 victories, 11 draws and only five defeats, his team scoring 112 goals and conceding just 33.

“It could’ve gone a bit better,” smiled the boss after failing to qualify for the 2022 World Cup despite winning EURO 2020.

“Not everyone reaches 50 games as CT, so it’s pleasing. Bologna brought us good luck as a venue for the Nations League matches three years ago and we hope it can do the same. It’s going to be a bit of a different match, though.

“It will take some time, perhaps more than a few months, but then football is strange and you don’t know what could happen. We are in a situation where we need patience and to run the risk of losing a few games so we can benefit in the long run.

“We didn’t deserve to miss out on the World Cup, but we are missing out and we must accept that. This is sport. We are all disappointed, but now can focus on the future and have trust in our young players.”

The squad available today is decimated by injuries, including Lazio pair Manuel Lazzari and Mattia Zaccagni, whose fitness status caused some controversy as they seemed all too eager to pull out.