Italy play their second match in EURO qualification on Sunday, as they travel to Malta. Every game could be crucial in Group C, as three of the five teams involved will be battling it out for a place in the top two positions to reach Germany next year.
EURO 2024 Qualifier Preview
Italy will be on a discovery mission in the early rounds of matches in Group C, as they missed out on reaching the World Cup late last year. Confidence remains behind Roberto Mancini, as the former Manchester City boss has credit in the bank after masterminding the nation’s route to glory in the previous edition of the EUROs. However, few could suggest at this stage that they will be winning the title for a second straight year in 2024.
The Italians were prolific in reaching EURO 2020, as they won all ten matches that they played. During that run, they scored an impressive 37 goals, which was the most that they had ever netted in a single edition of qualifying. Meanwhile, they only allowed four goals.
Malta is yet to qualify for a major international tournament, but they will take confidence from the fact that they won one qualifier in ten in the previous edition. That ended a long wait for a victory, as they had gone through the 2012 and 2016 qualifying campaigns without picking up a win.
Malta enjoyed a fine 2022 campaign, as they recorded five wins from ten matches, which included a standout win in September against Israel. Confidence would have also been taken from their score draw against Greece in November, and their one-goal defeat against the Republic of Ireland.
Malta vs Italy Head to Head
This is the 18th time that these two nations have locked horns, but Malta is yet to record a victory. Italy has won 14 previous clashes against Malta, including each of the last ten. The most recent meeting came in September 2015, with Italy recording a 1-0 home success.
Malta vs Italy Prediction
Malta’s general performances have been good over the past 12 months, but this is a huge step up in opposition. We struggle to see anything other than a win for Italy on the road, and we could see them achieving that by a 2-0 scoreline.
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