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Italy's strength in World Cup qualifiers, coupled with Bulgaria's inferior squad, means our tipster is backing the hosts 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 qualification 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 coupled with some promising signs they showed at the Confederations Cup, mean it is hard to back against them when facing a team who appear considerably weaker.

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 joy 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 healhty profit given the attractive price.

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

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Phil Kitromilides is a sports journalist and TV presenter in Madrid

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