Italy - Bulgaria Betting Preview: Back the Azzurri to win by at least two goals

The hosts' strength in World Cup qualifiers coupled with Bulgaria's inferior squad means our tipster is backing the Azzurri to triumph with a -1 goal handicap
Italy face Bulgaria on the island of Sicily on Friday looking to extend their incredible run in World Cup qualifiers. It has been nine years (or 23 matches) since the Azzurri last lost a match in this particular tournament and Paddy Power price them at 2/5 (1.40) to record a win against Bulgaria.

The visitors, meanwhile, have surpassed expectations in this qualifying campaign and sit a place and four points behind leaders Italy.

An away win is offered at 7/1 (8.00) with the draw on offer at 10/3 (4.33).

Italy's strong record in qualifiers coupled with some promising signs they showed at the Confederations Cup mean it is hard to back against them when facing a team who on paper they are considerably stronger than.

Backing them to win with a -1 handicap at 6/5 (2.20) is a bet that stands out at an attractive price.

This bet has proven the correct selection in four out of Italy's last five World Cup qualifying matches. Though Bulgaria have been solid thus far, they have been far from prolific (apart from against Malta) and should get little leeway out of the Italian defence.

Cesare Prandelli's side have a host of in-form strikers and they should feel confident that they can win by a two-goal margin, a result which would see punters make a healthy profit given the attractive price.

Italy -1 handicap at 6/5 (2.20) 0.5pt stake with Paddy Power

Sign up with Paddy Power for a £50 free bet and back Phil's selection for this match

Phil Kitromilides is a sports journalist and TV presenter in Madrid