Italy v Switzerland live stream, Friday 12 November, 7.45pm GMT
The winner of Italy’s game against Switzerland on Friday evening will be in pole position to qualify automatically for the 2022 World Cup.
The two nations are level on points at the top of Group C with two games remaining. Italy will expect to beat Northern Ireland in their final qualifier, while Switzerland will be heavy favourites when they conclude their campaign against Bulgaria on Monday night. This meeting at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, then, is essentially a winner-takes-all encounter.
Italy hold a slender advantage over Switzerland at present thanks to their superior goal difference; both teams have conceded just once in Group C, but Roberto Mancini’s men have scored 12 goals to Switzerland’s 10. A draw on Friday would therefore leave Italy in control of their own destiny, provided Switzerland do not outscore them by three or more goals on the final matchday.
Mancini is unlikely to play for a draw, though. He has made Italy a front-foot, proactive and possession-based team, and we can expect them to take the game to Switzerland. The Azzurri won 3-0 against the same opposition at the same stadium in the European Championship, and a repeat performance here would put them on the cusp of a place at Qatar 2022.
Switzerland should not be written off, though. They were poor in that aforementioned 3-0 defeat by Italy but gave a far better account of themselves against France and Spain in the knockout stage of Euro 2020, before drawing 0-0 with Mancini’s side in September.
Torino midfielder Tommaso Pobega has earned a first call-up to the Italy squad, while Nicolo Zaniolo is back in after missing last month’s Nations League matches.
Switzerland will be without Granit Xhaka through injury, while Celtic striker Albian Ajeti has been left at home after falling out of favour at Parkhead.
Kick-off is at 7.45pm GMT on Friday, 12 November, and UK viewers can watch it on Sky Sports Premier League. See below for international broadcast options.
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