Euro 2020 qualification Groupe J
Vazgen Sargsyan Republican Stadium in Yerevan
5th September 2019 17:00
Italy should be too strong for Armenia when they travel to the Vazgen Sargsyan Republican Stadium for a
Group J clash in Euro 2020 qualification. Having won their last five matches
and keeping six clean sheets in their last seven outings, the Italians are backed to secure a win.
The Armenians have been inconsistent in the qualifiers with two wins and two defeats from four matches.
Armen Gyulbudaghyants’ men have a poor record in European qualifying with nine defeats in their last 13 matches.
Italy are out on the road in the first game of an important doubleheader. The Italians are looking to secure their position in their Euro 2020 qualifying group, having shot to the top of the standings. They don’t intend to give that up, with Roberto Mancini continuing to improve his team going into the tournament next summer. They have little chance of missing out on back to back tournaments given how dominant they are in their group, but can the Italians make it six consecutive victories when they head to Yerevan?
Armenia aren’t too far off a spot themselves, as they are only three points shy of the top two going into this game. The hosts managed to win in Greece to boost their qualifying chances, but they have already kicked off with losses to Bosnia and Finland. Given those defeats, it is tough to see how the hosts can live with Italy going into this clash. They finished their last European Championship qualifying campaign bottom of the pile with only two points, so this clash represents a massive step up for the hosts.
Mancini is working to develop some impressive Italian talents, while he now has a strong squad at his disposal. He’s calling upon a defence which has only two players with 10+ international caps, but there’s a strong backline forming for the Italians. Goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma is set for his 13th cap this week, with the Milan stopper looking like the natural successor to Gigi Buffon. Leonardo Bonucci is a rock at the back in a young side, while Alessandro Florenzi, Emerson Palmieri and Alessio Romagnoli should make up a solid back four.
Mancini is developing a non-Italian style, with neat, deep-lying playmakers like Marco Verratti, Jorginho and Stefano Sensi gaining an important role. They not only patrol the midfield but they also recycle possession in the middle of the park. Overall it is making Italy more compact while dragging them into the modern era. The effect is clear across their recent games, with six clean sheets in seven matches.
After back to back wins to nil on the road at Poland and Greece, Italy should be strong enough at the back to stop Armenia. In the hosts’ last six games here, Moldova, Gibraltar and Finland have all left with clean sheets. That suggests that Italy will be able to shut them out, while the visitors’ six-game winning run should see them edge this one. We’re backing Italy to win to nil, while we see a comfortable 2-0 away win as they make it five wins from five in this qualifying group.