After the match against Switzerland, Italy is still first in group C of the world qualifiers. Mancini’s national team will now have to face three more games with the aim of making full loot to try to consolidate the leadership that would guarantee direct access to the Qatar 2022 World Cup and avoid the playoff risk.
On the road to the Qatar World Cup, Mancini’s Italy occupies the first place in group C after the disappointing 0-0 draw against Switzerland, but with two games more than the Swiss second. A wasted opportunity: the victory would have, in fact, secured the top of the group and mortgaged the qualification as first in the ranking. The Italian champions of Europe are still masters of their own destiny and will have to play another three games, against Lithuania, Switzerland (at home) and finally Northern Ireland. The first place in the standings for direct qualification to the final phase of the 2022 World Cup is fundamental for the national team, given that the second place and attached playoff could present pitfalls.
The ranking of the group of Italy towards the World Cup
- Italy 11 points (5 games played)
- Switzerland 7 points (3)
- Bulgaria 5 (5)
- Northern Ireland 4 (3)
- Lithuania 0 (4)
Italy currently has 11 points in the standings in Group C, 4 more than Switzerland (7) which has two games less than Mancini’s national team. More detached Bulgaria, Northern Ireland and Lithuania with respectively 5, 4 and 0 points. The Azzurri will have to try to score full points in the next 3 games, with the awareness that mathematical primacy and qualification for the World Cup could also come in advance also in light of the results of the Swiss.
The next matches of the world qualifiers
Italy will return to the field on 8 September in Reggio Emilia against Lithuania, and then in the big match in Rome on 12 November against Switzerland. Closing on November 15th, a challenge against Northern Ireland.
The next commitments of the national team in the world qualifiers:
- Italy-Lithuania 8 September at 8.45 pm (Mapei Stadium, Reggio Emilia)
- Italy-Switzerland 12 November at 8.45 pm (Olympic stadium, Rome)
- Northern Ireland-Italy 15 November at 8.45pm (National Football Stadium, Belfast)
How qualifying for the 2022 World Cup works
To qualify directly for the Qatar World Cup scheduled from 21 November to 18 December 2022, Italy will necessarily have to keep the leadership of group C until the end. The 10 national teams that will close the groups in first place will be entitled to the final phase of the world championship. On the other hand, the case of the 10 runners-up is different: the latter, together with the two national teams recovered from the Nations League, will have to face the play-offs. Three courses of 4 teams each, with semi-finals in a single and final match, from which 3 teams will come out and will therefore qualify for the World Cup. For the Azzurri, even in the wake of the collapse against Sweden in the 2018 World Cup playoffs, this prospect is to be avoided, also because there is the risk of crossing other competitive teams such as Spain, Holland and Germany.