It was an excellent summer for Italy as they had an Olympic gold-medal 100m sprinter, were crowned Eurovision champions and also had the small matter of winning Euro 2020. Roberto Mancini’s men weren’t one of the obvious favourites going into the tournament but by the end they were arguably deserved winners, beating England on penalties at Wembley. This game will be their first home fixture since winning the title and a time for celebration, but Italy will also want to be on form to continue their perfect start to World Cup qualifying. The Azzurri have won all three of their World Cup qualifying games so far, beating Northern Ireland, Bulgaria and Lithuania 2-0.
That 2-0 defeat to Italy in the second round of fixtures unfortunately wasn’t a blip in Bulgaria’s World Cup qualifying campaign as they have lost two and drawn one of their opening three games. Bulgaria haven’t appeared at a major tournament since Euro 2004 and their last World Cup showing came at France ’98 when they bowed out winless at the group stages. They have been handed a tough group in the build up to Qatar in 2022, losing to Switzerland alongside Italy and only managing a goalless draw against Northern Ireland.
Italy vs Bulgaria: Match Stats
Federico Chiesa was arguably Italy’s brightest attacking star at the European Championships, scoring two goals at the tournament to help his side beat Austria and Spain in the knockout stages. Frightening on the ball, Euro 2020 was the stage for Chiesa to improve in front of goal and he’ll be looking to continue that to help Italy qualify for the World Cup.
Italy’s defence has been formidable in World Cup qualifying, with the Azzurri yet to concede in three games. It was form they took into the group stage at Euro 2020, also keeping three clean sheets en route to winning the tournament. At the same time, Bulgaria have scored just one goal in their three matches so far.
Italy vs Bulgaria: Squawka Says
Scoreline prediction: Italy 2-0 Bulgaria
Italy vs Bulgaria: Odds
Italy vs Bulgaria: Head to Head
28 March 2021 – Bulgaria 0-2 Italy – World Cup Qualifying
6 September 2015 – Italy 2-0 Bulgaria – European Championship Qualifying
28 March 2015 – Bulgaria 2-2 Italy – European Championship Qualifying
6 September 2013 – Italy 1-0 Bulgaria – World Cup Qualifying
7 September 2012 – Bulgaria 2-2 Italy – World Cup Qualifying
These nations have made a habit of meeting in qualifiers for both European Championships and World Cups since the turn of the century, but it has been predominantly Italy who have triumphed in the round robins, the qualifiers for Euro 2016, with Antonio Conte’s side securing a 2-0 win on home turf and collecting a point away from home in a 2-2 draw. Roberto Mancini’s men then repeated that 2-0 win away from home in the first fixture of this qualifying stage.