Sports Innovation previews the World Cup qualifier between Northern Ireland and Italy and offers team stats and betting tips with the latest odds.
Italy head to Belfast on Monday night for a decisive World Cup qualifier against Northern Ireland.
Determined to banish the demons from their 2018 World Cup playoff defeat, Italy must win to avoid entering another set of playoffs in March. The Azzurri are currently tied with Switzerland on 15 points at the top of Group C. Three more points may guarantee a spot in Qatar. Anything less, though, leaves their fate out of their own hands.
Northern Ireland, meanwhile, have nothing but pride left to play for in this fixture. The Green and White Army are seven points behind the Group C leaders in third place. Therefore, they have no chance of qualifying for even a playoff spot.
Facts and figures for Northern Ireland vs Italy in World Cup.
- N. Ireland unbeaten the last 3 matches in a row at home;
- Total goals was UNDER 3.5 in N. Ireland’s last 8 of 10 matches;
- Total goals was UNDER 3.5 in N. Ireland’s last 4 at home matches in the row;
- Total goals was UNDER 2.5 in N. Ireland’s last 4 at home matches in the row.
- Italy unbeaten the last 8 matches in a row;
- Italy unbeaten the last 3 matches in a row when playing away;
- Total goals was UNDER 3.5 in Italy’s last 11 of 13 matches;
- Total goals was UNDER 3.5 in Italy’s last 5 when playing away matches in the row.
Current form — Northern Ireland vs Italy
The Green and White Army on a mixed run of form
It has been up and down for Northern Ireland going into this match, as results offer little sense of progress. Ian Baraclough’s side suffered a couple of disappointments in their last 3 matches, as they were run over by Switzerland in a 2-0 defeat. Bulgaria also proved too hard to handle, as they won 2-1 before they hit back last time out in a 1-0 win against Lithuania.
Die Mannschaft look tough to beat
It is difficult to point a finger at recent results for Italy, as they have performed according to their level. In their last 3 matches, Roberto Mancini’s side lost 2-1 to Spain before returning to winning ways by beating Belgium 2-1. They drew 1-1 with Switzerland last time out.
Northern Ireland vs Italy — fixture history
The last match between these teams was a World Cup qualifier back on 25 March 2021 and saw Italy claim a 2-0 victory.
In the last 5 meetings of these teams, an advantage was formed on the side of Italy, and these matches were also remembered for a low number of goals. In 5 matches between the clubs, Italy have been the dominant force winning 4 times in 5 matches against Northern Ireland in the World Cup.
Current table in the World Cup
Looking at the goalscorer market, there seems to be no standout marksmen from either side. Giovanni Di Lorenzo and Moise Kean lead the way for Italy, with 2 goals from their last 6 games. Conor Washington, meanwhile, is Northern Ireland’s top goalscorer on 2 goals.