Italy - Malta predictions and free betting tips [14/10/2023]
On Saturday, 14th October, within the Euro-2024 qualifying tournament, the Italy team will face off against the Malta national team. In their previous match, the "Azzurri" claimed victory over Ukraine with a score of 2:1, whilst the group's outsider was crushed by North Macedonia with a score of 0:2.
Italy: Donnarumma; Darmian, Mancini, Bastoni, Dimarco; Barella, Locatelli, Frattesi; Berardi, Raspadori, Kean.
Malta: Bonello; J. Borg, Muscat, Pepe; Mbong, Kristensen, Guillaumier, Camenzuli; Yankam, Degabriele; Nwoko.
The duel will take place in Bari at the San Nicola Stadium.
The reigning European champions, team Italy, failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup and has been experiencing a crisis in the recent months. Possibly the "Nationale" faced a generational transition, causing them to lose several vital points in the current qualifying campaign. At this point, the southerners hold second place with a game in hand but have earned as many points as the two closest pursuers - Ukraine and North Macedonia. Having grabbed the third spot in the recent Nations League competition in June (losing to Spain 2:1 in the semi-final and triumphing over the Netherlands 2:3), the "Azzurri" previously secured a draw with North Macedonia (1:1), followed by an intense victory over Ukraine (2:1). The loss to England in March was the only defeat for our tricolors in the last 44 Euro qualifying matches. Since 2010, the current European champions have never left the pitch without scoring a goal in the continent's premier competition qualifiers.
Malta remains a real "dwarf" in the European football arena, never having distinguished anything special apart from consistently finishing last in various qualifying campaigns for major tournaments. In this group, the "Knights of St. John", who failed to score a single point in the first five rounds, have once again settled at the fifth spot. Last month, they achieved victory over Gibraltar (1:0) in a friendly match, only to lose again to North Macedonia (0:2) a few days later - goals were noted by Eljif Elmas and Jovan Manev. FIFA's 171st-ranked team only scored a single goal while conceding 11; therefore, even hoping for a respectable defeat in Bari would be naive for the visitors. The only well-known player in the Maltese squad is midfielder Teddy Teuma (31 matches, 3 goals) from "Reims".
Head to Head Matches
Malta has never defeated Italy in 18 prior head-to-head matches and hasn't scored against the "Azzurri" since 1993; back then, Carmel Busuttil's successful penalty kick served as consolation at a score of 6:1.
Match Prediction: Italy – Malta
Even in light of the upcoming trip to Wembley and serious personnel problems, the Italian team should face no obstacles this Saturday. Malta loses to every team that cares to join a qualifying campaign, and it's unlikely they will break a 30-year goalless streak in matches against the reigning European champions. I expect a crushing victory from Luciano Spalletti's charges and place my bet on the home team’s win with a handicap of -3.
Despite the class difference, the visitors would still avoid an outright disgraceful score – Italy is currently not in its best form, and injury troubles have affected their lineup. I place my bet on the total number of goals to be under 4.5.
The hosts are sure to surpass their opponent in all key indicators, being vastly superior in class. I place my bet on the "Azzurri" winning corners with a handicap of -3.5.
Yellow Cards Prediction
Malta will have to foul a lot to keep up with the technically superior attack of their competitor. I place my bet on the visitors winning on yellow cards with a handicap of -1.5.
I place my bet on an exact score of 3:0 in favor of team Italy.