BETTING & MATCH PREVIEW
On Friday night, Italy host Switzerland at the Stadio Olimpico in Group C of World Cup qualifying.
The European champions are currently level on points at the top of Group C with Friday night’s opponents. With just two games remaining, the Azzurri have all but ensured that they will finish in the top-two of the group.
The Azzurri are unbeaten in their six qualifiers, having recorded four wins and two draws. A key to those recent good results in qualifying has been solid defensive displays, as they have kept clean sheets in six of their previous seven qualifiers, conceding just once in the process.
Italy’s stout recent defensive record has contributed to a lack of goals in recent qualifiers, with under 2.5 goals scored in ten of their previous 11 qualifying matches.
The visitors are neck and neck with the home team in the race to secure the one automatic qualification spot for World Cup 2022.
Murat Yakin’s team are unbeaten in eight international matches in normal time. They have also kept four straight clean sheets in qualifying, with three of their last four matches producing under 2.5 goals.
Switzerland have been a difficult team to beat in World Cup qualifying on their travels, as they have lost just one of their previous 19 qualifiers away from home. They have also won three of their previous four away qualifiers, keeping three clean sheets in the run.
Italy have two potential vital absentees, as veteran defensive pair Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini look set to miss out through injury.
Roma pair Nicolo Zaniolo and Lorenzo Pellegrini have also dropped out of the squad due to injuries. Switzerland’s only likely absentee is Monchengladbach defender Nico Elvedi.
This could be an incredibly tight encounter. However, we predict that Italy will record a victory in a low-scoring encounter.
PREDICTION – HOME WIN
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Odds correct at time of publication – please check with your bookmaker before placing a bet as fluctuations can occur.