Italy versus North Macedonia, a game that the hosts simply have to win. However the Red Lions have caused the Azzurri plenty of pain over the last few meetings, beating them 1-0 in a 2022 World Cup Qualifying game and holding them to a 1-1 draw in the first Group C meeting.
With England already qualifying from the Group, only one spot is up for grabs and Italy cannot afford to miss out on the opportunity of retaining their title as European champions. The Azzurri are currently in third place after six games, three points behind Ukraine with a game in hand. They have accumulated 10 points and only suffered defeat to England so far, which will give them confidence that they can get the job done this week. They average just under two goals scored per game on average, whilst only conceding seven, five of which were scored by the Three Lions.
Last time out, Luciano Spalletti's side suffered a 3-1 defeat at Wembley. Italy took the lead early on via Gianluca Scamacca, but they were unable to hold onto their lead. They displayed intent in attack yet they struggled to create any clear goal-scoring chances.
After six matches, North Macedonia have picked up seven points, with their only two victories coming against bottom of Group C, Malta. Having played them twice already, it looks like an incredibly challenging task to earn qualification, but a win versus Italy will put them in a much more promising position. The Red Lions conceded half of their total goals conceded tally versus England in a 7-0 battering which makes their overall defensive record look poor, but they have also found it difficult in the final third, scoring just seven goals.
North Macedonia showcased bravery and courage in their most recent game versus Ukraine, but their forward-thinking approach could be viewed as slightly naive. Ukraine scored in each half, winning the tie 2-0, and even though North Macedonia had more of the ball and 14 shots, Ukraine tore them apart on the counter.
Because they face North Macedonia, Italy will be even more motivated to pick up three points. Spalletti will have his side well-drilled and he will demand that they stay focused for the full ninety minutes. Italy to win is 1/8 but the Azzurri to Win to Nil is 8/13, which provides much better value.
The final prediction is Italy 2-0 North Macedonia.