Like world champions France, European kings Italy have been slow out of the block during the September internationals. However, unlike the French, the Italians' pair of draws have contributed to a wider positive with Roberto Mancini's men now unbeaten in a record 36 international games. That is better than previous efforts from the likes of Spain and Brazil and dates to October of 2018 just five months into Mancini's time in charge. Lithuania at home gives Italy the chance to add to that impressive figure and get back to winning ways after Bulgaria and Switzerland draws.
Here is how you can watch the match and what to know:
- Date: Wednesday, Sept. 8 | Time: 2:45 p.m. ET
- Location: Stadio Mapei -- Reggio Emilia, Italy
- TV/Live stream: ESPN+
- Odds: ITA -3300; Draw +1200; LTU +6600 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Italy: The draws against Bulgaria and Switzerland still have the Italians sitting four points clear at the top of Group C and a win against Lithuania would help to keep the Swiss at bay while they face a tough Northern Ireland challenge on the road. A few players, such as Paris Saint-Germain's Marco Verratti, have gone home so expect a rotated Azzurri side.
Lithuania: Four losses from four games played, one goal scored and an average of two conceded per game for Valdas Ivanauskas' men. Surely this is mission impossible for Rinktine?
Italy to win this one comfortably on home soil. Even with many changes expected, the Lithuanians are just unable to compete at present and their results reflect that. Pick: Italy 3-0 Lithuania.