Italy has never beaten Northern Ireland away, but on Monday they broke the nightmarish stats.
Italy did not thrive in Belfast. Since 1957, Italy has played three away matches against Northern Ireland, but has never won.
Italy played a special international match against Northern Ireland in 1957. The match ended 2-2. The only World Cup qualifying match between these two nations took place at Windsor Park in 1958, and the hosts won 3-1.
The last time these two teams met was in Northern Ireland eleven years ago. Until then, Italy had not managed to win. European Championship qualifiers ended 0-0.
Some might think that these are outdated statistics. Maybe it is, but the Northern Irish also showed in this World Cup qualifier that they can create problems for the best teams at home in Belfast. They played 0-0 at Windsor Park against Switzerland earlier in the playoffs. Monday’s game won’t be a rally for the Italians, but we think they will get their first away win over Northern Ireland.
Northern Ireland – Italy
The match starts on Monday 15 November at 20.45
Play stopped at 20.44 Odds immediately after the start of the match
The match can be watched on TV2 Sport 1
Italy played a tie with Switzerland on Friday, so it was time to spend Monday night in Italy and Switzerland. Now it will be decided which teams will go directly to the World Cup in Qatar.
The European champions from Italy lead the group with a better goal difference than Switzerland. They have two more goals than an alpine nation.
Anything other than victory would be a setback for Italy, which then risks having Switzerland dodge them at the table. The question is whether Northern Ireland can create problems for Italians.
Northern Ireland beat Lithuania 1-0 in Friday’s match, even though they had nothing to play for. The Northern Ireland team did not perform at the same level as in the last three qualifiers, when they went to two playoffs and qualified for the European Championship in 2016.
Six games without return
Northern Ireland did not show the same level as Michael O’Neill’s team, and they failed to threaten the two strongest teams in the group. First and foremost, it failed offensively. They’ve gone goalless in four out of seven qualifiers so far, including two of the three games against Switzerland and Italy.
Meanwhile, they played 0-0 against Switzerland at home. This is a good result.
We know that Italy is strong defensively, although it has conceded goals in the last three games against Spain, Belgium and Switzerland. The visitors kept clean sheets in five of their seven qualifying matches. Italy winning and keeping a clean sheet is a good match, especially as they have kept two clean sheets in their last six matches against Northern Ireland. Italy has not conceded a goal against Northern Ireland since 1961!
We have picked another match for this match. We go to Italy to win and they score less than 3.5 goals. He scored under 3.5 goals in six of Italy’s first seven matches in the group stage. He has also scored under 3.5 goals in six of Northern Ireland’s first seven European Championship qualifiers. So we go to Italy with a win and that three goals or less were scored in Monday’s game in Belfast.
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