Two strong European nations meet on Monday night, although neither Portugal or Italy are without their problems. The hosts are missing their star player, while the visitors are still reeling from missing their first World Cup since 1958.
Where and when: Estadio da Luz – 10 September, kick-off 19:45
Where you can see Portugal vs. Italy: Sky Sports
Last time: Eder scored the only goal of the game when the teams played each other in a friendly three years ago at the Stade de Geneve.
Portugal v Italy Predictions and Preview
There’s no Cristiano Ronaldo for Portugal, who’s been given permission to stay at Juventus as he looks to hit top form in Serie A. Italy won’t mind that at all, as they start a serious rebuilding job in the wake of a summer spent twiddling their thumbs.
Portugal’s boss Fernando Santos probably won’t mind having a look at how his team performs without Ronaldo, as the 33-year-old can’t perform as he has been doing forever. The likes of Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva need to step up, while Andre Silva hit a hat-trick on his La Liga debut for Sevilla last month.
The Selecao das Quinas are 13/10 for the win, so they start as favourites in the betting. The reigning European champions went out of the World Cup in the first knockout round at the hands of Uruguay, so they didn’t reach their full potential in the tournament.
|Portugal to win 3-1||20/1||Offer|
|Portugal to win to nil||12/5||Offer|
|Both teams not to score||18/5||Offer|
At least they were in Russia though, which is more than can be said for Italy. The Azzurri lost a two-legged play-off against Sweden 1-0 on aggregate, but the new era under Roberto Mancini hardly got off to a promising start against Poland on Friday. They drew 1-1 at home in their Nations League opener, with Chelsea’s Jorginho scoring a late penalty to rescue a point.
Italy are priced at 11/4 for the win, and the performance of the recalled Mario Balotelli could have a major say in their chances of getting one. He arguably has the best manager for him in charge of the national team, but the former Manchester City striker put in an insipid performance against the Poles and must improve if he gets another chance. If you think this game will end in a draw, that’s available at 9/4.
One to watch for Portugal: Andre Silva’s hat-trick for Sevilla means he’s already bettered the tally he managed for Milan in Serie A during the whole of last season, after he scored two goals in 24 appearances. Silva should be full of confidence and is 9/2 for the first goal.
One to watch for Italy: Ciro Immobile was an unused substitute against Poland, but could get the nod in place of Balotelli here. The Lazio striker has 68 goals in 90 appearances for Lazio since the start of the 2016/17 season, and is 5/1 to break the deadlock on Monday.
Long shot: This is an Italy outfit devoid of confidence and with some new faces. They’ve lost legendary goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon following his international retirement, which could make the Azzurri more vulnerable at the back. Portugal are 20/1 to win this game 3-1.