Tuesday 5 Sep

Italy vs Israel - Match Preview

04 Sep 2017 Ed Mackey INTERNATIONAL: World Cup Qual. UEFA Group G
INTERNATIONAL: World Cup Qual. UEFA Group G

Italy

  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L

vs

Kick-off
18:45 GMT
05 September 2017

Israel

  • W
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L

Kick-off
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.

STATS

  • Italy have been in very good form since last summer’s European Championships but a 3-0 loss last week has made it much harder for them to challenge for top spot in the group. This is just one loss in a run of 10 games as they won eight in that period. They shouldn’t have too many problems confirming their place in Russia but a win against Spain would have put them at much more ease.
  • Israel have struggled in qualifying and can end any potential hopes they had of making the World Cup after a disappointing 1-0 loss to Macedonia last week. They have won three of their seven qualifiers but lost the other four and Italy should make this five. They never expected to qualify but it’s still gutting.
  • Ciro Immobile is the joint top scorer of Group G, alongside Diego Costa, and he should be able to add to his tally of five goals against a much weaker Israel side. The target man didn’t have much supply in their last match.
  • Brighton and Hove Albion striker, Tomar Hemed has been Israel’s biggest threat in front of goal with three goals in the seven games. He’ll need to be in top form if they want to take anything from Italy.

HEAD TO HEAD

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

05.09.2016 Worl Israel Italy 1:3

ITALY NEWS

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

02.09.2017 Worl Spain Italy 3:0 L
11.06.2017 Worl Italy Liechtenstein 5:0 W
07.06.2017 Int. Italy Uruguay 3:0 W
31.05.2017 Int. Italy San Marino 8:0 W
28.03.2017 Int. Netherlands Italy 1:2 W

ISRAEL NEWS

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

02.09.2017 Worl Israel Macedonia 0:1 L
11.06.2017 Worl Israel Albania 0:3 L
06.06.2017 Int. Israel Moldova 1:1 D
24.03.2017 Worl Spain Israel 4:1 L
12.11.2016 Worl Albania Israel 0:3 W

SUMMARY

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.

About the author - Ed Mackey

Experienced sports writer and huge Leicester City fan.

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