Already securing their spot at next year’s European Championships, Italy will look to extend on what has become a stellar revolution when they travel to Bosnia’s Stadion Bilino Polje on Friday night.
Recording a 5-0 win away in Liechtenstein last month, the former world champions have won each of their eight Group J appearances and are one of just two nations during qualifying to boast a 100% campaign.
On the flip side, while Italy may have already booked their spot at EURO 2020, Bosnia know that nothing short of three points and a minor miracle can help them pull off what would be a great escape.
With just a pair of Group J matches left to play, Friday’s hosts sit two points adrift of the leading pack and they were handed a shattering 2-1 loss against Greece last month.
You might be interested to know that with Italy landing a 2-1 victory the last time they faced off against Bosnia back in June, a similar victory for Roberto Mancini’s men can be found at 6/5 with 888sport.
Bosnia searching for a miracle
With many around the Stadion Bilino Polje believing that their 2-1 defeat against Greece has brought an end to their EURO 2020 qualifying dreams, Bosnia are a nation desperately searching for a response.
Now priced as high as 66/1 with Paddy Power to secure a remarkable top-two finish come next month, it will undoubtedly be their continued issues at the back giving Robert Prosinečki the biggest headache.
Along with shipping a pair of goals against Greece last month, the Dragons have conceded at least two goals in five of their last seven Group J appearances. You might be interested to know that Bosnia are pencilled in at 1/1 with Ladbrokes to ship over 1.5 goals on Friday night.
Despite needing a miracle to find a way to leapfrog Finland, fans in Zenica will take some solace from their continued success on home soil.
Bosnia have landed back-to-back victories in front of their own supporters and have not tasted defeat at the Stadion Bilino Polje since a 4-3 defeat against European heavyweights Belgium back in November 2017.
Italy flying high
Although Italy may have been left heartbroken by failing to reach last summers World Cup finals, the Blues have continued on a resurge that has sent shockwaves across Europe.
Really starting to shine since appointing former Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini, the former world champions have won all eight of their Group J matchups.
Friday’s guests also have a growing reputation for their lethal showings in the final third.
Bagging an outstanding 25 strikes during qualifying, it is worth noting that the Blues are averaging three strikes per appearance, the fourth best-attacking stats held by any nation.
One man to keep an eye out for on Friday night will be Lazio’s red-hot leading marksman Ciro Immobile.
Finding the net against Leece last weekend and continuing on what has been a stellar recent purple patch, the former BVB striker has already bagged 17 goals across all formats this season.
Remarkably averaging a goal per game since opening the new campaign, Immobile can be found at 13/10 with William Hill to extend on that tally this weekend.