North Macedonia vs ItalyEuro 2024, KO: 19:45 Sep 9, 2023, Tower Proeski Arena
Luciano Spalletti begins life as manager of Italy with a trip to North Macedonia in Group C of the European Championship qualifiers. The Italians possess a lot of quality and the new manager bounce is expected to push them to a comfortable victory.
Drawn against two former world champions, Group C was always going to be difficult for North Macedonia. They have struggled to match up with their much-heralded counterparts and are second from bottom on the standings having claimed just one win and suffered two defeats in their three matches so far.
The win for North Macedonia came in their opening fixture as they picked up a 2-1 win over Malta. It has been all down hill since then for Blagoja Milevski’s men, who were beaten 3-2 by Ukraine before suffering a humiliating 7-0 defeat in England.
The defeat to Ukraine highlights a poor record at home for North Macedonia, who have only picked up two wins from their last six matches in front of their fans. Among the other results in that run is a 1-0 defeat to Bulgaria while they were also beaten 3-1 by Azerbaijan.
Fresh from winning the Scudetto with Napoli, manager Luciano Spalletti will look to breathe new life into the Italian national team. The Azzurri have found things difficult lately, missing out on the Qatar 2022 World Cup and also failing to win the UEFA Nations League.
Italy have only played two matches in Group C of the European Championship qualifiers, due to their involvement in the UNL. They began with a 2-1 defeat to England before picking up a 2-0 win in Malta in their previous qualifying fixture.
One thing Italy have going for them is a decent record on their travels having won four of their last six away matches, although they have failed to keep a single clean sheet in that run. Among their results in that run is a 3-2 victory over Netherlands which saw them finish third in the UNL.
How the bookies view it
Italy are considered overwhelming favourites among the bookies with a win priced at 1/3 by William Hill. A victory for North Macedonia is valued at 19/2 with Unibet while a draw is set at offs of 9/2 by Betfred.
Head to head
There have been three previous matches between North Macedonia and Italy with both teams claiming one win each. The most recent meeting was a Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifier which ended 1-0 in favour of the Macedonians.
Players to watch
Eljif Elmas and Enis Bardhi often carry a major threat from midfield with both men scoring a combined five goals in their last six appearances for North Macedonia. Elmas is priced at 7/1 by BoyleSports to score anytime while Bardhi is valued at 11/1 by bet365 I the same market.
Federico Chiesa appears to have put his injury problems behind him and is enjoying a fine start to the season for Juventus. The forward was on target in Italy’s win over Netherlands and is priced at 23/10 by William Hill to find the net on Saturday.
Anything else catch the eye?
North Macedonia and Italy have had defensive troubles in recent times and both teams can be backed to score at 5/4 with William Hill. The Italians saw over 3.5 goals in their previous fixture and a repeat is priced at 2/1 with Paddy Power while William Hill is offering odds of 4/5 for over 2.5 goals.
Italy are priced at minimal odds for a straight victory, so a win and over 2.5 can be considered at evens with BoyleSports.
This Euro 2024 match between North Macedonia and Italy will be played on Sep 9, 2023 and kick off at 19:45. Check below for our tipsters best North Macedonia vs Italy prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.