13 October 2019
Italy continue their UEFA 2020 European Championship qualifying (ECQ) campaign this weekend at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome to out-of-form Greece.
As the only nation to secure all six wins in Group J, the hosts are one step away from advancing to the final continental tournament, and a victory here might seal their place at next summer’s Euro as well. Roberto Mancini’s men have not only won all three of their ECQ home matches, but they’ve done it by scoring ten goals in total and conceding only one. Moreover, they have racked up an eight-game unbeaten run in all competitions (W7, D1), netting 2+ match goals in six of those triumphs while keeping a clean sheet in four. Also, a 3-0 away victory in the reversed fixture means that the Italians are now unbeaten in five consecutive H2Hs with Greece, friendlies included (W3, D2).
Meanwhile, after a 2-0 away triumph over Liechtenstein on matchday one, the visitors have failed to pick up a win in the subsequent five ECQ fixtures (D2, L3). Sitting seven points adrift of second-placed Finland, ‘Ethniki’ go into this encounter on the back off a frustrating 1-1 home draw with Liechtenstein. Although it has helped the traveling side put an end to a three-game losing streak, it was a third successive ECQ match in which they’ve conceded at least one goal in the second half. Furthermore, John van ‘t Schip’s men have endured a torrid time when away from home over the past 13 months, losing four of six trips, friendlies included (W1, D1, L4).
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