Italy U21 vs Norway U21, KO: 19:45 Jun 28, 2023, Cluj Arena
Italy have their eyes on a place in the knockout stage as they battle Norway in their final Group D fixture at the European U21 Championships. With the Norwegians struggling so far in the competition, the Italians are expected to have the upper hand here.
It has been mixed results for Italy so far at the competition with one defeat and one win from their opening two matches. They began with a 2-1 loss to France but bounced back with a 3-2 defeat over Switzerland in their second Group D fixture.
It was a it was a fine performance against Switzerland as efforts from Lorenzo Pirola, Wilfried Gnonto and Fabiano Parisi earned them the win despite conceding twice. They now need another win to progress to the knockout phase and having been victorious in three of their last four matches across all competitions, will be confident of getting the desired result on Wednesday.
One problem that has hampered Italy in recent times is a lack of discipline at the back, which was highlighted last time out against Switzerland. Paolo Nicolato’s men have kept just one clean sheet in their last nine matches across all competitions.
It has been a poor tournament so far for Norway, who have struggled for results in Romania. They began their campaign with a 2-1 defeat to Switzerland despite taking an early lead, and suffered a 1-0 defeat by France in their second Group D fixture.
Both results mean Norway are currently rock bottom in Group D with zero points. However, they are not down and out yet and can book passage to the knockout phase with a win by two clear goals on Wednesday and a defeat for Switzerland in the other group fixture.
However, the problem for Norway is that their struggles did not just start at the U21 Championships as they have found things difficult for a while. Leif Smerud’s men are winless in their last six matches across all competitions, suffering four defeats in that run.
How the bookies view it
Head to head
Italy and Norway have claimed one win each and two draws from four previous matches. The last meeting between both teams was a friendly in 2018 which ended in a 1-1 draw.
Players to watch
Wilfried Gnonto and Pietro Pellegri have featured in attack for Italy and both men are already off the mark in the competition. Paddy Power has Pellegri at 21/10 to score anytime while bet365 is offering 11/4 on Gnonto in the same market.
With Italy struggling to maintain their discipline at the back lately, Norway will be looking to capitalise on their vulnerabilities. Emil Ceïde has scored their only goal in this competition and could be worth keeping an eye on to find the net on Wednesday at 5/1 with William Hill.
Anything else catch the eye?
There were over 3.5 goals in Italy’s previous fixture and a repeat is valued at 15/8 by Paddy Power. Over 2.5 goals could also be considered at 7/10 with BetVictor while William Hill is also offering odds of 7/10 on both teams to score.
Italy are priced at minimal odds for a straight victory, so a win and over 2.5 goals can be considered at 16/11 by 10bet.
This match between Italy U21 and Norway U21 will be played on Jun 28, 2023 and kick off at 19:45. Check below for our tipsters best Italy U21 vs Norway U21 prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.