Italy vs Portugal: Predictions, Betting Tips & Odds
A few matchdays ago this seemed like a dead rubber game, but now Italy – Portugal has become a fight for supremacy and a place in the Nations League semi-final.
After a late Cristiano Biraghi winner kept Italy’s hopes of escaping from UEFA Nations League Group A alive, you may be expecting to see a rejuvenated Italy side take on Fernando Santos’ table topping Portugal.
However, the unfortunate and most likely truth is this Italy side is still as disjointed and uninspiring as they were before the victory against Poland.
We may yet see an energised Azzurri, if Roberto Mancini is to have any hope of qualifying to the UEFA Nations League semi-finals, then a win is imperative in what is their last group game. So, there is a chance the former Manchester City manager orders his team to go for the win straight out of the block.
For Portugal, this is simply about survival. A draw would mean they’ve topped the group with a game to go. A loss would mean they’d have to beat Poland in the last group game. Essentially, this is all about preventing a result for Italy. The European Championship holders are extremely sturdy side when all their players are fit and when they’re sitting back, it’s a full ninety-minute task to break them down.
Considering how lacklustre Italy have historically been in the Mancini era and how good Portugal are defensively along with their counter attacking threat, it’s hard to look past an away win for this one. 1-0 Portugal.
- Under 2.5 goals
This one sees the lowest scoring team in the group come up against the best defence in the group. It’s in Portugal’s favour to opt for a draw and Italy struggle to score. Goals will most likely be scarce.
- Portugal to win to nil
Portugal have two wins from two games and Italy seem to struggle to get anything going attacking wise under Mancini. Breaking on the counter suits the visitors and Italy’s defence most likely won’t be able to hold up.
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Head to Head
The pair have met on no less than 25 occasions, dating all the way back to their first meeting in 1927 where Italy won 3-1. The record is tipped massively in Italy’s favour, with 17 wins for them, two draws and Portugal winning six encounters.
Their most recent match is a recent date in September, with Portugal walking away as 1-0 winners thanks to an Andre Silva goal.
- Italy average the most possession per game in the group with 56.3%.
- Portugal average the most shots per game with 15.
- Italy defender Alessio Romagnoli averages the most blocks, with two per game.
- Portuguese defender Pepe has the worst disciplinary record in group A, picking up two yellows in just two games.