Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Prediction: Italy vs Northern Ireland

Harry Kettle in Free Soccer Predictions 24 Mar 2021

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Prediction: Italy win

Best Odds: 1/7

Bookmaker: 888sport

While the focus for many on the international stage is on the rescheduled UEFA Euro 2020 tournament this summer, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced nations across the globe to start thinking about next year’s FIFA World Cup in Qatar. There are still plenty of distractions and problems that could arise before the WC actually takes place, but for Italy and Northern Ireland, their eyes are locked on the World Cup and qualification as their respective campaigns begin this week.

Italy

From contenders to laughing stock and back to the role of dark horse, the Italians certainly know how to keep all of us on our toes. They’ve got the kind of team that lives vicariously through the success of past icons and that’s not a bad position to be in. If they can harness the sort of success we’ve all seen Italy have in years gone by, there’s no reason to believe they can’t head into the Euros with every belief that they can win it.

Team News

Sensi, Barella and Bastoni are set to be unavailable here after a COVID-19 outbreak within the squad. Cristante has withdrawn from the squad through injury with the only other fitness doubt, as of this writing, being Pellegrini.

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland’s grit and determination as a national team has faded away after their playoff defeat to Slovakia back in November. They just don’t seem to have been fighting as they usually do and with those inside the camp believing it’s going to be a long few years for them as a squad, we wouldn’t suggest backing them to qualify for many more tournaments in the midst of what can only be described as a rebuilding phase.

Team News

Conor Washington has been ruled out of the squad through injury with Shayne Lavery being called up in his place. Outside of that, the visitors have no major worries within the team and will have no excuses as they aim to put out their strongest possible side.

Factors to Consider

  • Italy hold a 6-1 lead over Northern Ireland in their head-to-head record with two draws.
  • Italy have won four and drawn two of their last six games.
  • Northern Ireland have drawn two and lost four of their last six games.
  • Italy have scored 15 goals and conceded one in their last six games.
  • Northern Ireland have scored four goals and conceded eight in their last six games.

Conclusion

Northern Ireland were once viewed as a rising force but after failing to qualify for Euro 2021, we just don’t think they have the stomach for a fight like this. The Italians are beginning to show signs of life after a period of instability and in their WC qualifying opener, we think they’re going to put on a bit of a show. They’re strong going forward and they have a decent defensive record to go alongside that, which is why we’re backing them to come out as the 3-0 victors.

Prediction: Italy win

Best Odds: 1/7

Bookmaker: 888sport

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Harry Kettle


Harry is a University of Worcester graduate who has been writing professionally for the last two years. He specialises in several sports such as MMA, pro wrestling and athletics, with football being his primary love. He continues to dream of a life in the Premier League as a Wolves fan.

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