On Friday, the qualifying matches for the European Championship, which will be held next year in Germany, continue, and this time we have analyzed the duel between Italy and Macedonia for you. The start of the match between these two teams is scheduled for 20:45.
Italy: Will the Macedonians be fatal for the Azzurri again?
After missing the 2018 World Cup in Russia, certainly even the biggest pessimists could not have assumed that the Azzurri would not participate in the World Cup in Qatar four years later, but unfortunately, that happened after a playoff defeat to Macedonia, at home in Palermo, which was truly a sensational outcome. Interestingly, between these two World Cups, Italy managed to win the European Championship title in 2021, triumphing over England at Wembley, after a better penalty shootout. Unfortunately, as things stand now, it could very easily happen that we won’t see the Azzurri at another major tournament, this time the European Championship, as at this moment Luciano Spalletti’s team, who recently became the new coach of the Azzurri, is in third place in the table, three points behind second-placed Ukraine, who, to be fair, also has a game in hand.
However, what is not good is that after this duel against Macedonia, where a victory really should not be in doubt, the Italians will face the Ukrainians in the last round, and that on their turf, so there is no doubt that the current European champion faces a tremendously difficult task. So far, the Azzurri have played six matches in these qualifiers and recorded three victories, one draw, and two defeats, and the general impression is that we expected much more, regardless of the fact that the Italians are in a group with the English, who for years have been one of the best teams in the world. Right in the first round, Luciano Spalletti’s team was defeated at home by the Three Lions, with a score of 1:2, and after that, the Italians easily celebrated in their visit to Malta with a score of 0:2. However, in the third round, Macedonia was again fatal for the Azzurri, as that duel ended with a score of 1:1, and after all that, the current European champion tied two victories, first against Ukraine at home with a score of 2:1, and also against Malta (4:0).
In the last round, Italy again measured forces against England and unfortunately lost again, this time Harry Kane and his teammates celebrated with a score of 3:1, so the Azzurri face a tremendously difficult task, although when all is said and done, it might be too much for such a team to miss two major tournaments in a row.
Macedonia: The visitors have nothing to lose in Rome!
In recent years, Macedonia has been recording probably its best results, and it should be noted that this team managed to achieve its inaugural placement at EURO 2020, which, as is well known, was played in 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Unfortunately, the Macedonians did not particularly stand out at the European Championship since they finished last in the group with the Netherlands, Austria, and Ukraine, without any points, which, to be honest, was probably expected.
Then came the World Cup qualifiers, where this team played quite well, as best evidenced by their second-place finish in the group behind Germany, which brought this team to the playoffs. In the first playoff duel, the popular Lions created a real sensation by defeating Italy, right in the middle of Palermo with a score of 0:1, leaving the Azzurri without a place in the World Cup. However, in the playoff final, Macedonia encountered Portugal, who easily celebrated with a 2:0 victory on their home ground and secured a place in the World Cup. Regarding the qualifiers for the European Championship to be held next year in Germany, it seems that Blagoja Milevski’s team primarily had bad luck in the draw, as the teams of England, Italy, and Ukraine are objectively better.
Currently, Macedonia is in fourth place in the table with seven points, which is three points less than third-placed Italy, and even six points behind second-placed Ukraine, meaning this team only has theoretical chances of qualifying for the championship of the old continent. So far, Macedonia has played six matches and recorded two victories, one draw, and three defeats, which is too many. In the first round, this team celebrated at home against Malta, however, after that, they tied three duels without a victory, and certainly, the most painful for football fans in North Macedonia was the defeat in the visit to England, with a more than convincing 7:0.
Of course, it should be reminded that the participant of the last European Championship managed to snatch a point from the Italians at their stadium, and the second victory in these qualifiers was achieved by Blagoja Milevski’s team in their visit to Malta with a score of 0:2. Finally, in the last round, Macedonia lost in their visit to second-placed Ukraine, and that match ended with a score of 2:0.
Our Betting Suggestions
The Italians find themselves in a very tricky situation, as in addition to needing a win over Macedonia, they also need a triumph in the last round, and that too in an away game against Ukraine, in order to qualify for the EURO. On the other hand, the guests, as we have already mentioned, have nothing to lose, and we know that this team has already been fatal for the Azzurri in the qualifiers for the last World Cup, so the most realistic prediction seems to be the GG (Both Teams to Score) bet, for which the Mozzartbet bookmaker has prepared odds of 2.50.
Of course, the Italians will start offensively towards the goal of Macedonia from the first minute, so we suggest you try with a halftime/fulltime result of 1-1, which Mozzartbet pays out at odds of 1.47.
Finally, it seems likely that an exceptionally efficient duel awaits us at the Olimpico, so we suggest you try with an over 2.5 goals bet at odds of 1.50.