European champions Italy face Lithuania in Reggio Emilia on Wednesday, in an attempt to redeem themselves after drawing their last two matches. The Azzurri broke the international record of games unbeaten and will be up in spirits, but there will be no room for excuses if they don’t win against the bottom team in Group C.
Where and when: Citta del Tricolore – 8 September, kick-off 19:45
Where you can see Italy vs Lithuania: Sky Sports
Last time: Italy beat Lithuania 2-0 when these countries met back in March. Stefano Sensi broke the deadlock, while Ciro Immobile added the second from the penalty spot.
Italy v Lithuania Predictions and Preview
Italy were a cut above Lithuania when the countries met in March, as the Azzurri earned a 2-0 win in Vilnius. Roberto Mancini’s side were held at bay until half-time, but strikes from Stefano Sensi and Ciro Immobile wrapped up the win in the second period.
This was Italy’s second consecutive victory against Lithuania and the Azzurri will be confident of making it three in a row on Wednesday. The two countries have faced each other seven times, with the Azzurri winning five and drawing twice.
Mancini’s men are currently first in Group C, while Lithuania are rock bottom and pointless, so the expectations are that Italy should have no issues against Valdas Ivanauskas’s men. However, the Azzurri already dropped two points at home in the 1-1 draw against Bulgaria in a similar situation, so they need to avoid a similar outcome this time.
Immobile has been unconvincing at the heart of Mancini’s favoured 4-3-3, so Giacomo Raspadori or Moise Kean might get a chance this time. Alessandro Florenzi also seems to be far from his best, so don’t be surprised if Rafael Toloi gets the nod at right-back. Leonardo Spinazzola is still injured, so Emerson Palmieri is expected to continue on the left.
|Our Eurotips||Odds||Free bets||Bookie|
Italy to win to nil
Handicap Italy -1
Italy to win 2-0
Further up, Manuel Locatelli might get a start in midfield, as the new Juventus acquisition impressed at Euro 2020, but has hardly featured ever since. Jorginho and Marco Verratti are expected to keep their places, while up top Federico Chiesa and Lorenzo Insigne should start ahead of the likes of Domenico Berardi and Federico Bernardeschi.
Lithuania, meanwhile, sit rock bottom in the group with no hope of progressing, so it’s just a matter of pride for the visitors to perform well in this game. Their last victory away from home was in November 2020 when they defeated Kazakhstan 2-1, and they have lost four in a row since then.
It is no surprise that Italy are heavy favourites and don’t be surprised if they score a few past Lithuania. A draw would be considered a huge surprise, especially after the 1-1 stalemate with Bulgaria, while a win for the visitors would be a massive shock. Lithuania scored only one goal in their last four away games, so Italy to win to nil seems like a good option for online betting.
One to watch for Italy: Federico Chiesa scored the opener in the 1-1 draw against Bulgaria. The Juventus winger also opened the score twice at Euro 2020 against Austria and Spain, so he is worth keeping an eye on in the first scorer market.
One to watch for Lithuania: Goalkeeper Tomas Svedkauskas needs to be at his absolute best if Lithuania are about to cause an upset on Wednesday. The 27-year-old hasn’t kept a clean sheet in his last nine appearances for his country and the odds are that he won’t be able to do that against the European champions.
Long shot: The Azzurri have won their last two games against Lithuania 2-0, so a repeat of that result cannot be ruled out on Wednesday. If you are looking for even bigger odds you can pair this up with Chiesa to score anytime.