Crowned European champions in July, Italy are not home and dry yet in Group C.
Indeed, Roberto Mancini’s side are level on points with Switzerland following the 1-1 draw on Friday, but do hold the edge with a superior goal difference.
Nevertheless, the Azzurri cannot afford any slip-ups at Windsor Park as they aim to banish painful memories of their failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
And it is worth noting that despite their recent world-record run of 37 unbeaten matches, Italy have only won three times over 90 minutes in their last 10 games.
That will encourage Northern Ireland as they look to end Group C on a high by securing third place and what would be a fifth win in nine matches.
Currently level on points with Bulgaria, Ian Baraclough’s men are fresh from a 1-0 victory over Lithuania that ended their three-game winless streak.
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Northern Ireland vs Italy: Match Stats
Of all the attacking quality at Italy’s disposal, Domenico Berardi is arguably the man in form.
The Sassuolo forward scored the winner in the Nations League third-place play-off victory over Belgium last month, and has found the net five times in 10 Serie A appearances this term.
The Azzurri are unbeaten in the last six meetings between the nations – winning five – and have not conceded during that span.
Indeed, you must go back to January 1958 for the last time Northern Ireland found the net in this fixture.