Having seen their 40-game unbeaten run in European qualifiers brought to an end last time out against England, Italy will look to start up a new streak against Malta on Sunday.
Roberto Mancini’s side, the reigning European champions, won’t be panicking just yet but anything other than a comfortable three points would set some alarm bells ringing at this early stage of qualification.
Malta have never made it to a major tournament and began this qualification journey with a defeat to North Macedonia last time out.
Here’s all you need to know about the game.
Malta vs Italy H2H Results (Last Five Games)
Current Form (Last Five Games)
Television Channel/Live Stream
Viaplay Sports 2
Malta team news
Yannick Yankam scored on his debut last time but may be denied a maiden start as Malta opt for a more defensive lineup here.
Potential debutants: Matthew Grech, Cain Formosa, Luke Tabone
(5-3-2): Bonello; J Mbong, Borg, Apap, Attard, Camenzuli; Kristensen, Guillaumier, Teuma; Satariano, P Mbong
Italy team news
Nicolo Barella and Leonardo Bonucci have both left the Italy camp, with the former limping off injured against England and the latter not even making the bench.
Roberto Mancini will be forced into some changes but can expect to make plenty as he seeks to improve on the sluggish showing from the first half against England.
Potential debutants: Wladimiro Falcone, Alessandro Buongiorno, Marco Carnesecchi
(4-3-3): Donnarumma; Di Lorenzo, Romagnoli, Acerbi, Spinazzola; Tonali, Verratti, Cristante; Politano, Scamacca, Gnonto
Italy will be hurting after the England defeat and they’ll be looking for an emphatic victory here, and there’s no reason to believe they won’t get one.
Malta are a side full of spirit but the gulf in quality between the two teams is enormous, even with Italy’s injury problems weighing them down.
Expect Mancini’s side to put this one to bed pretty early on.
Prediction: Malta 0-4 Italy