With just two games to go, Italy will aim to sneak into the top two standings in Group C with a win tonight against North Macedonia when they face each other at the Stadio Olimpico.
Italy had a challenging Euro qualification campaign so far as they are six-point short of Group C leaders England and three points of Ukraine. Their next and final match with the latter side is going to be a decider for either team as a win would grant them a ticket to Germany in 2024.
With a win tonight, the Azzurri will be able to position themselves in second place in the league and will be in pole position for qualification along with The Three Lions from their group. Luciano Spalletti’s men have recorded 10 points from a possible 18 during the qualification games and England were their only menace in the run. Italy can’t afford to lose any more games as they will be risking another exit from international competition.
Meanwhile, North Macedonia won’t be carrying any pressure upon themselves into the match as they are now practically out of contention to qualify for the Euros. However, they pack a huge punch on their side and can deliver a huge upset yet again.
The Lynxes managed to throw Italy out of World Cup 2022 by holding them from a win in the qualification playoffs and a repeat of the same can be visioned tonight if they grab the three points. Blagoja Milevski’s men held tonight’s opponent to a 1-1 draw in their last meeting in September and they will go into this match with positive intent.
Results from their last five matches across all competitions
L W W D W
W L W D L
Luciano Spalletti will miss Rafael Toloi, Manuel Locatelli, Alex Meret, Alessandro Bastoni and Davide Calabria due to injuries.
Destiny Udogie was also ruled out of the international break. Andrea Cambiasso and Andrea Colpani are tilted to start.
As for North Macedonia, skipper Stefan Ristovski will miss the upcoming games due to discontent with the manager. Valon Ethemi and Ljupcho Doriev will also miss the match.
Italy (4-3-3): Donnarumma; Darmian, Acerbi, Gatti, Dimarco; Barella, Jorginho, Frattesi; Berardi, Scamacca, Chiesa
North Macedonia (3-4-2-1): Dimitrievski; Manev, Musliu, Serafimov; Ashkovski, Ademi, Atanasov, Alioski; Bardhi, Elmas; Trajkovski
Trambak Bhattacherjee | GIFN