On Friday night, Bosnia and Herzegovina host Italy in Group J of qualifying for next years European Championships.
Bosnia and Herzegovina (Odds of 11/5 for victory)
The home sides hopes of qualifying for Euro 2020 are hanging by a thread. They are currently five points behind Finland, who are occupy the last qualification berth for next years tournament. It seems that making Euro 2020 is highly unlikely for the home side, but they are still mathematically still in with a chance.
In truth, Bosnia have experienced a mixed qualification campaign, having taken ten points from their eight games in Group J. A record of four defeats in their last six qualifiers, winning just twice in the process.
Their recent qualifiers have been high-scoring, with their last five qualification matches producing over 2.5 goals. The fact that the home side has conceded at least two goals in five of their last seven outings in qualifying has not helped their chances of making Euro 2020.
Bosnia and Herzegovina have a strong recent home record in qualifying for the European Championships, as they are unbeaten in nine games on home soil while recording six wins in the process. The home side has been highly prolific in those recent home qualifiers, scoring at least twice in seven of their eight matches.
Italy (Odds of 6/5 for victory)
Italy have already qualified and won the group, winning all eight of their games in the group, scoring an impressive 25 goals and conceding just three times. The Azzurri have scored at least two goals in all eight of their qualifiers so far this season.
The visitor’s good form in qualifying for the European Championships did not just start in this campaign, though, as the Azzurri have now won their last 12 qualifiers, scoring at least two goals in their last ten wins.
Italy have been formidable on their travels in qualifying for the European Championships, as they are unbeaten in 19 away games, having recorded 15 victories. In fact, the last European Championship qualifier Italy lost away from home was way back in 2006 against France.
The Azzurri have certainly had an eye for goal away from home of late, as they have scored at least two goals in their last five away qualifiers for the European Championships. The visitors have also failed to score in just one of their last 24 qualifiers for the Euro’s.
Italy have been head and shoulders above the other teams in the group. Even when it was clear the Azzurri were going to comfortably win the group their level of performance didn’t really drop. The home team have been mediocre in the group, although they have been difficult to beat on home soil.
Despite Italy leading the group comfortably, they will still want to win this game and also their last qualifier for the hundred per cent record. With that in mind, we are backing Roberto Mancini’s team to record a victory at odds of 6/5, but probably by a narrow margin.
Bosnia and Herzegovina being prolific on home soil and Italy away from home also makes the over 2.5 goals scored at odds of 3/ 4 also look a decent bet.
Verdict: Back the away win at 6/5 and/or the over 2.5 goals scored at odds of 3/ 4.
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Will Italy continue their hundred per cent record in Euro 2020 qualifying against Bosnia and Herzegovina?