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Italy vs Portugal Predictions

  • 19:45
  • Expired
  • Stadio Olimpico

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Tip Reasoning

This encounter is a decisive one in this group, following Italy’s 1-0 win away to Poland last month. That’s narrowed the race for top spot down to these two sides, the rebounding Italians and the reigning European champions. While Portugal have won both of their games in this competition so far this Autumn, will they come up short at the San Siro on Saturday?

The hosts were at risk of relegation before their key win over Poland, but they now need to win this clash to have any chance of topping the group. That might not be the greatest prize on offer for Roberto Mancini, who is focused on taking Italy back to the top of the international game. However, tests like this one against the reigning European champions don’t come around all that often, and we’re backing them to push for three points here.

The visitors are weakened in that they’ve without Cristiano Ronaldo once again. The side built around the forward is likely to struggle in big games without him, and he’d know this Italy side well after his time in Serie A. The character of the team can also be questioned, given that the Portuguese are mostly going with a young side in the Nations League so far. They’ve picked up a couple of good results, but can they withstand this trip to an Italian side who seem to be improving?

Italy have tested out many different approaches under Mancini, and they seem to be slowly getting better. They will want to better their high profile slip up to Sweden at this ground, which came just over a year ago now. The country needs to move forward ahead of the Euros, and we expect them to attempt to put things right in their final Nations League game. As they prepare to sign off ahead of March’s Euro 2020 qualifiers, we’re backing the home side to push for a victory.

Italy have the defence to keep this tight, and they should have enough quality at the back to silence an inexperienced Portuguese side. This is the biggest test the European champions have faced since the World Cup, and we don’t have that much confidence in them. We’re siding with the hosts here, who need to end a run of draws at home, and continue a long-standing unbeaten record in home matches. Mancini needs his side to step up, and we’re backing them to dent Portugal’s hopes of topping the group with three points in this clash.

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