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Northern Ireland face the unenviable task of a trip to Italy to start their qualification process for World Cup 2022 in Qatar. Italy are the big favourites heading into the match, which is no surprise when you compare the two squads. The visitors will try to set up strong and hard to break down in the hopes they can hold out for a draw or even pinch and unlikely victory.

Three Predictions for Italy vs Northern Ireland

Unbiased tips

The odds provided are up to date at the time of publication. Odds are subject to change though and you should always check with your bookmaker before placing any bets. Our recommended bookmaker for this match is Ladbrokes.

Italy Win-to-Nil

Italy have won five of their seven previous encounters with Northern Ireland and have kept clean sheets in each of their last five games against Thursday's guests. The host shave also won four of their last six international matches, keeping five clean sheets in the process.

Most Goals in First Half

Italy have scored 10 or their last 17 goals in the first half of games, including four in their opening half against Moldova back in October. Italy have also scored in four of their last five first halves against Northern Ireland.

3-0 Italy

Italy's last two wins against Northern Ireland, 2011 and 2009, have both been via the same 3-0 scoreline. Italy scored four times without reply in a recent game against Estonia and Northern Ireland let in two goals in their last away game against Austria, so you can see why we're backing Italy to claim a comfortable 3-0 victory on Thursday.

Italy vs Northern Ireland: The Key Stats and Odds

Europe - World Cup Qualifying
Italy odds
VS
odds Northern Ireland
March 25, 2021
No odds currently available - check again later

Italy vs Northern Ireland

flash Head to Head

25/03/21
E-WCQ
Italy odds
odds
Italy
2 - 0
odds Northern Ireland
odds
Northern Ireland

Italy

Last 5

31/03/21
E-WCQ
Lithuania odds
odds
Lithuania
0 - 2
odds Italy
odds
Italy
28/03/21
E-WCQ
Bulgaria odds
odds
Bulgaria
0 - 2
odds Italy
odds
Italy
18/11/20
UNL
Bosnia-Herzegovina odds
odds
Bosnia-Herzegovina
0 - 2
odds Italy
odds
Italy
15/11/20
UNL
Italy odds
odds
Italy
2 - 0
odds Poland
odds
Poland
11/11/20
IM
Italy odds
odds
Italy
4 - 0
odds Estonia
odds
Estonia

Northern Ireland

Last 5

31/03/21
E-WCQ
odds Northern Ireland
odds
Northern Ireland
0 - 0
odds Bulgaria
odds
Bulgaria
28/03/21
IM
odds Northern Ireland
odds
Northern Ireland
1 - 2
odds USA
odds
USA
18/11/20
UNL
odds Northern Ireland
odds
Northern Ireland
1 - 1
odds Romania
odds
Romania
15/11/20
UNL
odds Austria
odds
Austria
2 - 1
odds Northern Ireland
odds
Northern Ireland
12/11/20
E2Q
odds Northern Ireland
odds
Northern Ireland
1 - 2
odds Slovakia
odds
Slovakia

Italy to maintain winning run and strong defensive record

Italy will be aiming to extend their winning run to four straight matches when they play host to Northern Ireland on Thursday. The hosts have an excellent record against their guests and have looked extremely difficult to score against of late, while Northern Ireland possess a much-weaker squad than the Italians and will be happy to come away with a point.

The home side could start with Gianluigi Donnarumma at the back. The AC Milan shot-stopper might only be 22-years-old but he is already labelled as the next Buffon. Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci provide vast experience at the back, while Marco Verratti will be the playmaker in the centre of the park. Italy have choices up-front as Ciro Immobile, Andrea Belotti or Moise Kean would all be worthy of leading the line. Jorginho hasn't made the squad nor have the injured duo of Angelo Ogbonna and Domenico Criscito, but the Italy squad is still much stronger than Northern Ireland's even without those players.

Northern Ireland are really lacking in the goalkeeper department but do have a solid and experienced defence that includes Jonny Evans, Craig Cathcart, Stuart Dallas and Shane Ferguson. The visitor's midfield is also packed with experience in the form of the captain Steven Davis, Corry Evans, Niall McGinn and Paddy McNair, while up top Kyle Lafferty could lead the line in what would be his 80th international cap.

FAQ about Italy vs Northern Ireland

italy vs northern ireland tips

  • Who's the favourite? – Italy are huge favourites to win
  • Where can I watch the game? – Sky Sports Football
  • Where is the game being played? – Stadio Ennio Tardini (Parma)

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