Italy v Finland Betting Tip Under 2.5 goals – 23 March 2019

Low-scoring contest expected in Italy

Euro Qualifiers Tips

ItalyItaly v FinlandFinland
Saturday 23rd 1945hrs 
Football – International – European Championship Qualification
Pick Under 2.5 goals
Bookmaker Marathon Bet
Odds: 39/50 (odds taken 21.00 GMT, Wednesday 20th March)

Italy are big favourites to finish top of Group J and make it through to Euro 2020 as an automatic qualifier, but it’s hardly been a vintage period for the Azzurri who will just be looking to get their campaign off to a winning start on Saturday night when facing Finland.

European Championship Qualifying Betting at Marathon Bet

Italy Preview

Roberto Mancini was brought back as something of a saviour following Italy’s failure to reach the 2018 World Cup under previous boss Gian Ventura. Mancini’s first test was a Nations League campaign where they failed to top current European Champions Portugal to top spot but there were at least some signs of the potential of this groups of players. The potential simply most now be turned into production in their bid to reach next summer’s Championships and the pressure has only intensified by being drawn in a group that virtually everybody expects and assumes they will top with a minimum of fuss. Bosnia are the second seeds in Group J with Greece and Finland the other two nations who are the only others likely to pose any threat to Mancini’s men. It’s in stark contrast to their World Cup qualifying group when having to contend with Spain so there will be no excuse should the Italians fail to make it to a second major championships in a row.

 

Key-Facts – Italy v Finland

  • Italy missed out on the 2018 World Cup so will be eager to make up for that disappointment
  • Finland topped their Nations League section thanks to an excellent defensive record
  • Italy’s last seven games have went under 2.5 goals whilst 13 of Finland’s 14 games have went the same way

 

Finland Preview

Finland have never made it through to a major championship and they are going to have their work cut out if they are to manage that this time around as fourth seeds. Marku Kanerva has been in charge of the National team for just over three years now and there are signs that he’s beginning to have some success, in relative terms at least. The Fins topped their Nations League group to earn promotion to League B having won four of their six matches. Included within that section was Greece – whom they won at home against and lost to away – and that will give them confidence that they can finish above that opponent once again in these qualifiers. It was a success very much based on an excellent defensive record that see them concede only three goals, at the same time scoring just five of their own. It’s no surprise that the man who scored three of those five goals was Teemu Pukki who is enjoying an outstanding season with Championship leaders Norwich City where he tops the scoring charts. You sense that if Finland are to have any success in this section then he has to be at his prolific best.

Italy v Finland Betting Advice

This is the first time Italy and Finland have clashed in a competitive game since qualification for the 2004 European Championships, with the Italians winning 2-0 home and away. Mancini would certainly take that result on Saturday ahead of facing minnows Liechtenstein, once again at home, next Tuesday – another match they would be expected to win with some ease. Finland are facing their most difficult match of the section and coach Kanerva will be realistic about his player’s chances of getting a result but he’ll certainly be looking for another good performance following their successful Nations League campaign towards the end of 2018.

As always in these qualifiers, home form will be crucial and Italy will be looking for the perfect start in their clash against Finland in Udine at the weekend. Mancini’s men have not been free scoring in recent years and I would not expect that to change significantly on Saturday against a team who know how to defend. Italy’s last seven games have all went under 2.5 goals whilst 13 of Finland’s last 14 matches have also contained two or fewer goals. It’s a strong trend and one I see continuing.


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