Italy‘s chances of qualfying for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar are hanging in the balance ahead of their final World Cup Qualification Group C game away to Northern Ireland on Monday evening.
History suggests that the Azzurri won’t have it easy in Belfast, and there is a lesson from the 1950s that Italy will have to heed.
In five previous meetings with Northern Ireland, Italy have lost just once. That came in qualification for the 1958 World Cup, with Italy then missing out for the final time before 2018. Instead, Northern Ireland topped the qualification group above the Azzurri and Portugal to advance.
Italy’s most recent trip to Belfast came in qualification for Euro 2012, with the two sides drawing 0-0 on that occasion.
The most recent meeting between the two came in March, with Italy winning 2-0 at Parma’s Stadio Ennio Tardini through goals from Ciro Immobile and Domenico Berardi.