Italy begin their final preparations for this summer’s Euro 2020 campaign with a friendly against the minnows of San Marino at the Sardegna Arena in Cagliari. These neighbouring countries may share borders and plenty of history, but there are few similarities between them in footballing terms.
Where and when: Sardegna Arena – 28 May, kick-off 19:45
Where you can see Italy vs. San Marino: N/A
Last time: Italy thrashed San Marino 8-0 the last time these countries met, which was in a friendly at Empoli’s Stadio Carlo Castellani in May 2017.
Italy v San Marino Predictions and Preview
Italy and San Marino have played each other three times over the years, with the Azzurri recording easy victories on each occasion. The Italians have scored a total of 16 goals across those three meetings, conceding a grand total of zero.
San Marino are the perennial whipping boys of European football, having failed to win a single competitive fixture in their entire history. Their sole victory was a 1-0 friendly win against Liechtenstein back in 2004, although La Serenissima have enjoyed greater success in recent years thanks to the introduction of the Nations League.
Being given the chance to play against more teams ranked closer to themselves saw San Marino claim two draws in their last two Nations League fixtures in October and November of last year. It is hoped there will be more success in the years to come, but any form of result against Italy here is incredibly unlikely.
|Our Eurotips||Odds||Free bets||Bookie|
Italy to win to nil
Italy to win 5-0
Italy to win and over 4.5 goals
The Azzurri are four-time World Cup winners and a team on the rise once again following a turbulent spell in their illustrious history. Roberto Mancini has inspired a resurgence in Italy’s fortunes after their failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, with the Azzurri currently on a highly impressive run.
The Italians are unbeaten in their last 25 matches, winning 20. Mancini’s side have won their last six without conceding a single goal, while a Donny van de Beek goal in a 1-1 draw with the Netherlands is the only time Italy’s defence has been breached in their last 10 outings.
There’s no doubt Italy are the heavy favourites to get the win against San Marino here, with the away team losing 44 of their last 46 fixtures. La Serenissima have failed to score in any of their 10 most recent matches, with their goal against Kazakhstan in November 2019 their only strike in their last 27 games.
The Azzurri are fully expected to win to nil, which is one of the few ways you can add some value to the home win in these Italy v San Marino predictions. There’s almost no chance of the visitors getting a win, with even a draw representing an almighty upset. Indeed, it would be a real shock if Franco Varrella’s side just managed to get themselves on the scoresheet.
One to watch for Italy: Federico has enjoyed a promising debut season with Juventus, scoring the winning goal for the Old Lady in the recent Coppa Italia final against Atalanta. He is one to watch in the first goalscorer market on Friday.
One to watch for San Marino: With brother Elia not involved, Simone Benedettini is the only goalkeeper in this San Marino squad with any caps to his name. His performance could be crucial in keeping the scoreline respectable.
Long shot: Any success San Marino have in this game is a long shot, whether that’s in scoring a goal or securing a third goalless draw in seven games. More likely though would be predicting the correct score in a big win for the Azzurri in these Italy v San Marino tips, with a 5-0 scoreline potentially of interest.