Italy vs North Macedonia Preview
With UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying entering its final stages, the upcoming matches will be crucial for current title holders Italy. Only two matches are left for the Azzurri who currently sit in third place in Group C, three points behind Ukraine but with a game in hand.
Italy’s final game will be against Ukraine, but before that, they need to make sure that they still retain hope of qualifying by getting the maximum points against North Macedonia on Friday, November 17. The kick-off at Stadio Olimpico is scheduled for 8:45 pm local time.
Before diving deeper into our Italy vs North Macedonia prediction, we should remind the readers that it was the Macedonians who stopped Italy from qualifying for the FIFA World Cup 2022.
For Italy, the match on Friday is a do or die. If they beat North Macedonia, even a draw against Ukraine on November 20 would be enough to qualify for UEFA Euro 2024. If not, then a win against Ukraine on the road becomes a must.
Since the appointment of Luciano Spaletti this summer, the Azzurri have recorded two wins, one draw and one loss. They faced off against North Macedonia in September, and the game in Skopje ended in a 1-1 tie.
Italy will be without Sandro Tonali for the upcoming matches as he has been suspended from football due to illegal betting. Ciro Immobile, Italy’s leading goalscorer in recent years, is struggling to find his form at Lazio and has thus been dropped by Spalletti.
North Macedonia Preview
North Macedonia, on the other hand, have nothing tangible to fight for as they have been officially eliminated. Even if they win their next two matches – away against Italy and England, which is a stretch in itself – it wouldn’t be enough to overtake second-placed Ukraine in Group C. We will make sure to keep this in mind in our Italy vs North Macedonia tips.
Blagoja Milevski’s men recent results include two wins, a draw (against Italy, as mentioned above) and a loss. What is more, the Balkan team is unbeaten in their three previous matches against the Azzurri and will want to maintain that positive streak going.
Italy vs North Macedonia odds
Betting tips Italy vs North Macedonia
Both teams to score? Yes
To start off our Italy vs North Macedonia odds, we do not predict a calm night for Luciano Spalletti and his disciples. One such scenario would be both teams scoring, and Bet365 offers 2.50 odds on it happening.
Regardless of their motivation going into the match, we expect the Macedonians to score at Stadio Olimpico on Friday. For one, the Azzurri are not as solid defensively as they used to be and have conceded in all four matches under the new coach. Besides, since Italy will look to attack from the very start, they are bound to leave free spaces in defence.
The home side should be able to score themselves, too. With players like Federico Chiesa, Nicolo Zaniolo, Giacomo Raspadori and others, the Italians have plenty of outlets to trouble any opposition. They have scored eight goals in four matches under Spalletti, at least one in every game. That run should not end with North Macedonia at home.
Over 2.5 goals
Expanding on the previous part of our Italy vs North Macedonia prediction, we do not believe that the match will end in a 1-1 draw like it did in Skopje. Bet365 offers 1.53 odds on over 2.5 odds, no matter who scores them.
To back this up with numbers, there were at least three goals in three of Italy’s four latest matches. The only exception was the game against North Macedonia, but since that was Spalletti’s debut with the Azzurri, one can make the argument that it is not as representative.
For the visitors, there have been over three goals in just one of their recent four matches. However, we believe that the proactive force in this match will be Italy – more focused on attack but thus exposed defensively – so this should open up the game on both ends of the pitch.
Both teams to score and Italy win
And to cap it all off and to combine our Italy vs North Macedonia tips into one, we believe that the home side will grab the victory in the end. Bet365’s odds on both teams scoring and Italy winning stand at 3.25.
The previous time that North Macedonia eliminated Italy, the Balkan team was actually highly motivated to win the match as they advanced further in the play-offs. This time around, the visitors’ spirits will certainly not be running as high.
Despite the slow start, Spalletti has shown positive signs since the start of his tenure. Italy has beaten Ukraine – which is a stronger team than the Macedonians – and was able to put up a fight against England at Wembley Stadium. With the right approach, the Azzurri definitely have the means to beat North Macedonia at home, although their defensive fragility may be highlighted again.
Please remember to always gamble responsibly. Our Italy vs North Macedonia tips are suggestions, not a call to action. Always rely on your own judgement in the end.