N Ireland v Italy betting tips: Baraclough boys hold key to Azzurri’s World Cup hopes
N Ireland v Italy betting tips and odds
Northern Ireland earned their first competitive win at Windsor Park in two and a half years on Friday and they can have a big say in which team qualifies automatically for the World Cup on Monday night when they take on European champions Italy.
Ian Baraclough’s side only lost 2-0 in Parma and are priced at 12/1 to pull off a shock win against the Italians, who drew 1-1 with Switzerland on Friday to stay top of the group on goal difference although they would have been three points clear had Jorginho converted a last-minute penalty.
Defeat for the hosts may still be good enough to secure third spot, so let’s look at the markets and odds in our N Ireland v Italy betting tips.
The Azzurri have won four and drawn three of their seven games and are understandably 1/4 favourites to get the win they need, although even a victory may not be sufficient to book their flight to Qatar.
Switzerland only trail the Italians by a goal difference of two so if they can defeat Bulgaria handsomely they could still finish top of Group C.
Northern Ireland may have ended their poor home record courtesy of an own goal against Lithuania but they have not scored against Italy in seven matches over a 24-year period.
Italy have won six of the last seven meetings with Northern Ireland and are 20/23 to win to nil or 11/8 on winning either half, over 2.5 goals in the match and keeping a clean sheet bearing in mind they won five of their last encounters by either 2-0 or 3-0 scorelines.
Roberto Mancini’s side won 2-0 in both Lithuania and Bulgaria and can be backed at 9/2 to win by that scoreline again while a 3-0 victory is priced at 6/1 as one of our N Ireland v Italy betting tips.
Northern Ireland had two goals ruled out in the first half against Lithuania and are 11/5 to lose and score, with Italy 6/1 to open the scoring between 41-50 minutes as they did in Sofia and Vilnius.
Baraclough opted for a 3-5-2 on Friday night when Josh Magennis and Conor Washington led the line, although he went with a more defensive 5-3-2 in Italy.
Italy will line up in a 4-3-3 as usual but Mancini is without veteran Giorgio Chiellini, so Francesco Acerbi is likely to accompany Leonardo Bonucci in the heart of defence.
Marco Verratti, Ciro Immobile and Lorenzo Pellegrini will also be absent, so Andrea Belotti is likely to start up front again, although Domenico Berardi’s lively performance as a second-half sub means he is pushing for a start.
Berardi scored the opening goal in the 2-0 win against Northern Ireland on matchday one but may not start on Monday so as usual it’s worth checking the line-ups an hour before kick-off.
Federico Chiesa is 9/2 to break the deadlock and 7/4 to score in our N Ireland v Italy betting tips.
Where: Windsor Park
When: 19:45, Monday 15th November
How to watch: Sky Sports
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication