Italy vs. Switzerland Tips, Preview and Predictions

Italy national team crest

European champions Italy host Switzerland at the Stadio Olimpico on Friday evening in a direct clash for first place in Group B of 2022 World Cup qualification. Both sides have already qualified for at least the play-offs and are tied with 14 points, with the Italians having the upper hand thanks to their better goal difference.

Where and when: Stadio Olimpico – 12 November, kick-off 19:45

Where you can see Italy vs. Switzerland: Sky Sports

Last time: Jorginho missed a penalty as Switzerland held Italy to goalless draw in the last meeting between these teams back in September.

Italy v Switzerland Predictions and Preview

Italy’s fantastic unbeaten run came to an end at the beginning of October, when the Azzurri suffered a 2-1 defeat against Spain in the Nations League semi-finals. Roberto Mancini’s men bounced back by beating Belgium 2-1 in the third-place clash, but the invincible aura that was surrounding the Italians is now gone.

Despite this, Mancini’s side remain as solid as ever and Ciro Immobile’s return to the group will be a welcome boast. The Lazio talisman missed Italy’s last three games because of an injury and although he has been heavily criticized, neither Giacomo Raspadori nor Moise Kean showed enough consistency to keep him out of the starting XI. 

Federico Chiesa and Lorezno Insigne are also expected to start in Mancini’s preferred 4-3-3 with Manuel Locatelli replacing the injured Marco Verratti, next to Jorginho and Nicolo Barella in the middle. There are some question marks in defence as Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini were both called up, despite being not fully fit, probably only one of them will start alongside either Alessandro Bastoni or Francesco Acerbi.

Switzerland managed to frustrate Italy in Basel, as the game ended 0-0 and kept Hakan Yakin’s men in the battle for first place. In order to do that, the visitors must beat the European champions, but that would be far from easy, as the Italians have lost only one of their last 34 home games. At the same time, the Azzurri are undefeated in their last 10 games against Switzerland, with the last win for the Swiss dating all the way back from 1993.

Switzerland are undefeated in their last five games with their last defeat being the penalty loss against Spain in the Euro 2020 quarter-finals. The Rossocrociati kept four clean sheets in their five games since then and managed three victories and two draws, including the goalless stalemate against Italy. 8/1

Despite that both sides are in good shape, anything but a win for Italy would be a shock. Three points for the Italians on Friday can be backed at 8/13, while the draw can’t be written off and is available at 27/10. A Switzerland victory that would allow Yakin’s men to overtake the Azzurri in the group standings is priced at 24/5.

One to watch for Italy: Ciro Immobile is expected to return for Italy after missing out on their last three games. The 31-year-old recently surpassed Silvio Piola as Lazio’s all time top scorer and although he is yet to replicate this form for his country, Immobile is 22/5 to break the deadlock on Friday.

One to watch for Switzerland: Yann Sommer was outstanding in the 0-0 draw between those teams back in September. The Borussia Monchengladbach shot stopper made seven saves against Italy, including a penalty save on Jorginho, so he’ll have to be at his absolute best once again if the Rossocrociati are to beat the Azzurri and top the group.

Long shot: Switzerland’s last trip to Stadio Olimpico was during Euro 2020 and it ended in a 3-0 win for the Azzurri. Although it won’t be easy, a repeat of that result is available at 9/1, while the odds raise to 54/1 if you pair this with Immobile to break the deadlock.

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