Italy has a golden chance to seal off their bid for Qatar this week with maximum points when they take on Lithuania. The match schedules for Wednesday at Pawel Raczkowski, with kickoff at 10:45 pm.
While the hosts narrowly escaped a defeat in their opening match against Switzerland on Sunday, Roberto Mancini’s ruthlessly continued their winning run against Bulgaria to make it two wins in Group C.
It has been an impressive 24 match unbeaten streak since Roberto Mancini took charge – including nine wins. Italy continues to make a good impression in the early stages of World Cup qualification, after humiliating failure in reaching there in Russia.
What awaits the Azzurri is making it 30 wins without a defeat –set by the legendary Vittorio Pozzo back in the 1930s. Even though several young attacking talents in Serie A in recent times, what stands out remains their rearguard. During Mancini’s run at the helm, the national side has kept 17 clean sheets.
The latest shutout came in Sofia last Sunday, as Italy overcame Bulgaria 2-0 thanks to goals at the end of both halves from Andrea Belotti. Another motivation for the side is qualifying for the semi-finals for the Nations League.
Lithuania has not qualified for a major tournament’s finals, recording only one win during qualification for the last World Cup in neighboring Russia.
Lithuania vs. Italy Head to Head
Both sides have not met at this stage of the competition and this marks their first time. Here is a look at their previous encounters:
Switzerland 1-0 Lithuania
Kosovo 4-0 Lithuania
Kazakhstan 1-2 Lithuania
Belarus 2-0 Lithuania
Lithuania 2-0 Lithuania
Bulgaria 0-2 Italy
Italy 2-0 Northern Ireland
Bosnia & Herzegovina 0-2 Italy
Italy 2-0 Poland
Italy 4-0 Estonia
Lithuania Team News
Forward Fedor Cernych should become captain again and maintain his role as the main striker. With nine goals in 61 appearances, he will help out on the wide slot with Arvydas Novikovas from the wide. Midfielder Domantas Simkus sets to screen with another role in the attack.
Italy Team News
Freiburg Vincenzo Grifo will not travel to Lithuania due to the tightened Covid-19 restrictions in Germany. Unavailable figures ahead of the clash due to injuries include Francesco Caputo, Domenico Berardi, and Giorgio Chiellini. Both Marco Veratti and Alessandro Florenzi travelled back to Paris this week.
Prediction and Odds
Nothing will soon stop the impressive run by Italy, given the circumstances ahead of the clash.
Goals Over 2.5
First to Score: Italy