Monday, May 29, 2023

Prediction: Italy vs England

Tom Dunstan in Free Soccer Predictions 21 Mar 2023


Verdict: Under 2.5 goals

Best Odds: 7/10

Bookmaker: Unibet

Hoping to get their European qualifiers off to a flying start on Thursday night, England will make the trip to Naples when they meet Italy.


Starting with the hosts, while Italy might have stunned England at Wembley two years ago as they were crowned European champions, Roberto Mancini’s men have somewhat come crashing back down to earth over recent times. Shockingly failing to punch their World Cup ticket after getting hit with an infamous 1-0 loss at home against North Macedonia 12 months ago, the one-time Manchester City boss has found himself under an increasing level of scrutiny. However, although the Azzurri might have claimed a crucial boost last year as they snatched three consecutive victories, Italy could only sign off 2022 with another downbeat display. Last seen on November 20th when suffering a toothless 2-0 loss at the hands of Austria, Mancini’s side know that they have plenty of pressure on their shoulders this time around. With many fearing that Thursday’s hosts could face another surprise struggle if they are to find a route out of Group C, the reigning European champions will be desperate to make an early statement here.

Team News

While Gianluca Scamacca might have struggled since arriving at West Ham last summer, the ex-Udinese striker could lead Italy’s attack on Thursday night. Leeds’ starlet Wilfried Gnonto will also be hoping to play some part in Naples.

The trio of Mateo Retegui, Wladimiro Falcone and Torino defender Alessandro Buongiorno have all been included in Mancini’s 30-man squad this month.


As for the visitors, while England might have reached the World Cup quarter-finals out in Qatar over the weekend, many fans back home were once again left frustrated. Eventually crashing out thanks to a 2-1 loss at the hands of European rivals France, it is no secret that Gareth Southgate has found himself under a huge amount of pressure. However, although the 52-year-old might still remain in post, the Three Lions have shown some extended issues over recent times. Enduring what was a public Nations League nightmare last year as they remarkably failed to win any of their six League A appearances, England also suffered an infamous top-tier relegation. Knowing that they should face a tough challenge when they open their European qualifying adventure on Thursday night, Southgate should be worried by his downbeat record against the Azzurri. Including heartbreak at Wembley two years ago as they missed out on the chance to claim a first piece of silverware since 1966, England have failed to win any of their last six straight meetings against Italy.

Team News

Despite being called up to Southgate’s squad last week, the trio of Nick Pope, Mason Mount and Marcus Rashford have all withdrawn due to respective injury issues. Tottenham goalkeeper Fraser Forster has come in as a late replacement for Pope.

While Spurs’ Harry Kane will spearhead England’s attack on Thursday night, Brentford striker Ivan Toney will be hoping to earn a first international cap.

Key Factors to Consider

    • When Thursday’s opponents last met back on September 23rd, Italy claimed a 1-0 Nations League victory on home soil.
    • Likewise, Italy are unbeaten in each of their last seven straight showdowns against England – a run that stems back to August 2012.
    • Each of the previous five meetings between Italy and England have finished with under 2.5 goals.
    • The Azzurri have recorded more than a single strike in just one of their previous six showdowns on home soil.
    • Including their World Cup adventure over the winter, England have won just a trio of their last 11 matchups across all competitions.


    While England might be desperate to open their Group C run with an early statement on foreign soil, neutrals could be treated to a cagey affair on Thursday night. Although Southgate’s side might have reached the World Cup quarter-finals a few months ago, the Three Lions have certainly gained a reputation for their inconsistencies. Likewise, failing to muster a single victory from any of their last seven straight meetings against Italy, chances could come at a premium here. Watching Italy fail to punch their World Cup ticket last year following that stunning 1-0 defeat at home against North Macedonia, the reigning European champions have also shown some worrying issues in the final third. It should be noted, with each of the last five meetings between Thursday’s opponents seeing under 2.5 goals by the final whistle, we are backing a similar outcome here.

    Verdict: Under 2.5 goals

    Best Odds: 7/10

    Bookmaker: Unibet


    Tom Dunstan

    Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
    Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan



    Notify of

    Inline Feedbacks
    View all comments
    More More
    Would love your thoughts, please comment.x