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Italy vs Northern Ireland: Predictions
To the amazement of the entire nation, Italy failed to qualify from the 2018 France World Cup. After finishing second in their group – behind Spain – the Italians were required to qualify through a play-off round against Sweden. A 1-0 loss on aggregate to the Swedes saw Italy fail to qualify for their first World Cup since 1958.
In comparison, their visitors have not qualified for a World Cup since 1986. In Northern Ireland’s entire history they have only managed three World Cup wins. However, they will face an uphill battle to progress from their qualifier group with Italy expected to top the table and Swizterland/Bulgaria expected to battle it out for second.
Roberto Mancini has already warned his Italy side of the threat which Northern Ireland could cause them despite Ian Baraclough’s men only winning two of their last 13 games.
Despite their failure in their last World Cup qualification run, the Italians have been in scintillating form under Roberto Mancini who recorded an impressive 1-0 victory over the Netherlands last September as Nicolo Barella’s first-half strike proved enough for the away side to prevail.
Italy vs Northern Ireland: Match Stats
The on-loan Everton striker, Moise Kean, has had an excellent season out on loan at PSG this season. The Italian has found the back of the net 11 times in Ligue 1 in his 20 appearances in the French top flight. The 21-year-old returned to action on the weekend after being ruled out of the previous two games following a positive COVID test.
In Northern Ireland’s last 14 games, Baraclough’s side have conceded 38 goals whilst only netting 12 at the other end of the pitch. The Italians, in comparison, have only conceded one goal in their last seven games and have scored 16 goals as they continue their stunning recent record which has not seen them lose a game since September 2018 against Portugal in the Nations League.
11 October 2011 – Italy 3-0 Northern Ireland – Euro Qualifiers
8 October 2010 – Northern Ireland 0-0 Italy – Euro Qualifiers
6 June 2009 – Italy 3-0 Northern Ireland – Friendly
3 June 2003 – Italy 2-0 Northern Ireland – Friendly
22 January 1997 – Italy 2-0 Northernhttp://www.squawka.com/en/go/bet365-sports-sqb-topoddsbox Ireland – Friendly
In the history of these two sides’ previous meetings, the Italians have won a total of six times and only lost on one occasion. Mancini has his side in stunning form as they look to make up for their embarrassment in attempting to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.