Armenia vs Italy Euro 2020 qualification Predictions

Sam Watt
By: Sam Watt
Euro 2020 Armenia vs Italy
Armenia vs Italy Euro 2020 qualifiers

The match is over.
Score: 1-3.

Italy put their 100% Euro 2020 qualification record on the line against Armenia, who are lurking just outside the top two of Group J.

Predictions

It’s four wins from four in qualifying thus far for Roberto Mancini’s Italy – and 13 goals scored in that time too. The Azzurri have conceded only once as well, and look on course for a comfortable progression to Euro 2020.

Armenia’s attempt at qualification started badly with defeat at Bosnia and Herzegovina and a home reverse against Finland. They got back on track by beating Greece in a five-goal thriller in Athens and recorded a routine win over Liechtenstein, both in June. The visit of Italy then could be make or break for Armen Gyulbudaghyants’ side.

A good result against Italy – even a draw would be respectable – would set up Armenia for the visit of Bosnia and Herzegovina a few days later, potentially a catalyst for a run at qualification. Armenia have never qualified for a major tournament as an independent nation, so reaching Euro 2020 would be a landmark achievement.

Italy are old stagers when it comes to the European Championships – present at the last six editions, reaching the final in both 2000 and 2012. But they haven’t actually won the trophy since 1968, a lifetime ago. Two World Cup successes in that time ease the pain a little but even so, the last of those was 2006. Lifting a trophy must be Mancio’s No. 1 priority.

The former Manchester City manager has a talented squad at his disposal to make that happen and Armenia, despite some quality in their ranks, shouldn’t pose too much of a challenge. Mancini has a squad with experience and youth, and recent positive results suggest he’s on the right track. That shouldn’t change here, even if it will be a tough game.

Italy’s greater quality should come through, but it might not be a pretty affair and Italy will have to dig deep. They can come away with a highly creditable 2-0 win.

Betting Tips

Italy’s 13 goals in four games is an impressive tally but six of those came in one game against Liechtenstein. Take that out of the equation, and it’s seven in three, still decent but not staggeringly so. And with Armenia in better form, the gap isn’t likely to be too big, pointing to a narrow Italy win. 10Bet price Italy to win with under 2.5 goals at 21/10.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan remains Armenia’s main threat but he can’t do it alone – and with his club future in doubt, he might not be at his best. So removing the home side’s main threat means Italy’s chances of a win to nil grow, and the bookies will be aware of that too. 10Bet have the Italy win to nil at 4/5.

Statistics

Head to Head

Armenia and Italy have met twice before – both in World Cup qualifiers in 2013. Italy won 3-1 in Armenia in the first game and drew 2-2 in the second, Mkhitaryan scoring in both.

Stats

  • Italy have two of the five most accurate passers of the football in qualification so far – Marco Verratti, with 396 completed passes, and Jorginho, with 362.
  • Armenia goalkeeper Aram Airapetyan has made the second-most saves in qualification – 21. Only San Marino’s Elia Benedettini has made more with 32.
  • Italy haven’t lost in their last eight games – not since a 1-0 Nations League defeat to Portugal.
  • Armenia captain Mkhitaryan is on the verge of a move to Italy’s Serie A – with a loan switch to Roma to be completed shortly before this fixture takes place.
Sam Watt
By: Sam Watt

Football manager is my life, but have taken up writing to help put all that knowledge playing the game to good use. Follow me for all things European football and gain unexpected knowledge about players and teams you didn't know before. When not playing football manager, I take a break to play with my Sunday League team.

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