Paul Higham can’t see too many goals being scored in Naples on Thursday night, but sees enough in Italian side to pick out a big 17/1 Bet Builder for their opening Euro 2024 qualifier. Italy v England
Defending champions Italy have been drawn against England in their Euro 2024 qualifying group
After missing out on the World Cup, Roberto Mancini’s Italy will not want to make the same mistake again as they start the defence of their European title against the side they beat at Wembley just 20 months or so ago Italy v England
Euro qualifying has been a doddle for the Azzurri of late as they haven’t lost a home qualifier in this competition since 1999 and haven’t lost one anywhere since 2006, going 40 games unbeaten including winning the last 14 on the spin
This is the first time the two sides have met in Euro qualifying, but the Italians have the upper hand in recent meetings, most notably their Euro 2020 final success but they also knocked England out of Euro 2012 on penalties and haven’t lost a competitive game against them since 1977
England missing red-hot Rashford-Italy v England
Gareth Southgate was bemoaning his lack of options even before Marcus Rashford, Mason Mount and Nick Pope all pulled out of the squad – although Rashford was the only one in with a chance of starting in Naples.
The Three Lions have also had dominant Euro qualifying campaigns recently – winning 17 of 18, scoring 67 goals and conceding just seven in those victories, but this is a huge step up from their usual challenges
Without a win in six trips to Italy, England’s last away win was a friendly success in 1961, which underlines the size of the task at hand if Southgate is to become just the third England manager to oversee 50 wins.
Southgate is on the verge of joining Sir Alf Ramsey and Walter Winterbottom in the half-century club of wins but of more immediate interest to him will be starting again after the disappointment of their World Cup exit against France in their last game.
As it stand there we not be many goals fancied in Naples-Italy v England
There’ll be a firecracker of an atmosphere at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium in Naples on Thursday but despite that and Italy’s fine home record in this and against England there’s hardly anything between them in the market.
so our prediction for italy to win is at the olds of 2.80 with England at odds of 2.49 to win at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium in Naples and going on recent meetings,
and the fact this is the first game of the campaign, then the draw is set at odds of 3.0 and you can see why as there was only one of them scored in two Nations League matches between them.
Throw in the fact it’s the first game of qualifying and England are recovering from their World Cup exit, and that the last five meetings have gone under 2.5 goals
then it seems a solid bet. to gor for the half time draw and over 2.5 match goals with betway nigeria at odds 8.6