18:45 GMT 05 September 2017
As we head into the second matches of the 2017/18 season’s first international break, we are getting a much clearer idea of which nations are in contention for qualification for next summer’s World Cup in Russia. One of the sides hopeful of a spot are Italy, who host Israel in the eighth match of qualifying Group G. The hosts are second in the group, three points behind Spain while the visitors are fourth with no real hopes of next year’s tournament.
The two nations have only met on four occasions and only one of those came in the 21st century. Israel are yet to beat Italy and the time when they avoided defeat against the Italy came at the 1970 Mexico World Cup. The last fixture earlier in the qualifying group ended 3-1 to Italy and there have been over 3.5 match goals in three of the four matches. Head to head matches: Italy - Israel
Head to head matches: Italy - Israel
A win for Italy would be a big step in the right direction in terms of qualification and they should have no problems achieving that. The firepower of Immobile and Andrea Belotti should be far too much for the Israeli defence to handle.
Latest matches: Italy
If Israel were able to pick up the most unlikely of wins, their hopes of qualifying would still be extremely small. Yossi Benayoun is still likely to feature for the visitors with the attacking prowess of Hemed leading the line.
Latest matches: Israel
If Italy don’t win this game, it would be seen as a catastrophe. They are playing a much weaker Israel side who have nothing to play for so they should have no issues sticking a few goals past the inferior side. A clean sheet should be in order for the Italians as it could (and should) turn out to be a long night for Israel. Expect at least 2.5 goals from Italy as well as a clean sheet.
05 September 2017 - 18:45 GMT
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