Italy plays it against Northern Ireland and its history

It seems like a joke of fate what happens tonight to Italy to end his World Cup jinx. Friday’s draw (and the last two penalties missed by Jorginho) force him to win against Northern Ireland, and to do it with many so many. Mancini’s men must defend their best goal difference (+2) against Switzerland, that with a win against Bulgaria could snatch the lead and the ticket to Qatar (follow the game live on

Going to the play-off, for the European champion, would be a unacceptable disaster And to avoid it, you will also have to fight the weight of your story. It was right in Belfast, in 1958, where the azzurri they lost the pass for the World Cup in Sweden. Those of Foni they only needed a tie to participate in the big date, but fell 2-1 and came the first great disappointment in the history of the Nazionale.

Today, there, it awaits you a rival that already has no options, but that in these classifications he never lost, nor conceded goals in front of his audience. Baraclough, yes, he spoke with great respect of his opponent: “It would have been better if Jorginho would have scored that penalty, now the game is much more complicated. Hope our guys enjoy it: we can beat the champion of Europe and that does not happen every day. We will not be afraid. “

Mancini, for his part, he reaches one of the most important clashes in his history as a coach with up to eight casualties: Sirigu, Bastoni, Calabria, Biraghi, Chiellini, Immobile, Pellegrini and Zaniolo. In the lead could have one scamacca opportunity, the only physically strong point that is available, but the coach said at a press conference that it will be necessary to play “with the ball on the ground and quickly. “Therefore, except for surprises, it will start with Berardi, Insigne and Chiesa up front, whose mission is to end a lack of aim that is beginning to worry.

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In the last four clashes officers, Italy won only once (5-0 against Lithuania), and tied the other three, in which he added just two goals. You have to change the chip to return to Eurocup parties. The recipe, for Bonucci, is to “reinforce the team spirit even more”. The finals, without that, are not won and tonight’s game, due to the dramatic consequences that a setback would have, is not worth less than the one at Wembley.

Card and possible starting lineups

NORTH IRELAND: Peacock-Farrell; McNair, J. Evans, Cathcart; Dallas, McCann, Davis, Saville, Ferguson; Magennis, Washington.

ITALY: Donnarumma; Di Lorenzo, Bonucci, Acerbi, Emerson; Barella, Jorginho, Tonali; Berardi, Insigne, Chiesa.

REFEREE: I. Kovacs (Romania).

STADIUM: Windsor Park, Belfast.

HOUR: 20:45.

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