Prediction: Italy vs Switzerland

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Prediction: Italy win

Best Odds: 8/13

Bookmaker: 888sport

We’ve hit the pause button on domestic football and as a result, it’s time to welcome the final international break of the year to our screens. The main topic of conversation for countries across the globe is attempting to qualify for next year’s controversial 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Two teams who are on the verge of doing so are neighbours Italy and Switzerland, and they’ll meet later this week.

Italy

Roberto Mancini knows that all eyes are on his Italy squad after they became European champions last summer. It was a triumph that was hard to come by but in the end, the Azzurri remained calm and overcame England in the final. Now, with the World Cup on the horizon, they’ll be expected to head into the tournament as one of the clear favourites to lift the trophy.

Team News

Zaniolo and Pellegrini have pulled out of the squad with Barella requiring some assessment – although he’s expected to be fit enough to feature over the break. Elsewhere, Bonucci should be back after serving his suspension.

Switzerland

Switzerland have always been the “dark horse” but at Euro 2020, they came close to finally stepping out of that shadow. After an unremarkable series of performances in the group stage, they managed to beat France in an absolutely remarkable game that ended in a penalty shootout success. They went out to Spain in the next round, but there’s a whole lot to build on and get excited about for this team.

Team News

Zakaria is back and available for selection after serving a one-match ban. However, the following players have been ruled out due to injury: Elvedi, Zuber, Embolo, Kobel and Fassnacht.

Factors to Consider

  • Italy and Switzerland are tied in 1st place in their WCQ group with 14 points.
  • Italy have won two, drawn three and lost one of their last six games.
  • Switzerland have won three and drawn three of their last six games.
  • Italy have scored 10 goals and conceded five in their last six games.
  • Switzerland have scored nine goals and conceded two in their last six games.

Conclusion

This is going to be a game of few chances and while some may think they know what this fixture is going to look like based on the Euros, we aren’t of the same belief. We expect this to be a nervy affair with few chances between both sides, mainly because the Swiss would’ve learnt their lesson following their 3-0 demolition in Rome. In the end, though, Italy will just about edge through with a 1-0 win.

Prediction: Italy win

Best Odds: 8/13

Bookmaker: 888sport

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