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NORTHERN IRELAND are looking to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1986, but they could hardly have been handed a more challenging start to their campaign.
A trip to Parma is first up to play an Italy side who won every single one of their Euro 2020 qualifiers.
Italy head into World Cup qualifying in excellent formCredit: Getty
Northern Ireland were edged out by Slovakia in their bid for a Euro 2020 spotCredit: Sportsfile
The Northern Irish meanwhile fell at the final hurdle of Euro qualifying, losing 2-1 after extra time at home to Slovakia in the play-off final.
Switzerland, Bulgaria and Lithuania are the other teams in World Cup qualifying Group C.
What time does Italy vs Northern Ireland kick off?
- Italy take on Northern Ireland on Thursday, March 25.
- The match kicks off at 7.45pm.
- It will be held at the Ennio Tardini Stadium, Parma.
- The two sides last met in 2011 when hosts Italy ran out 3-0 winners in Euro 2012 qualifying.
What TV channel is Italy vs Northern Ireland on and can I live stream it?
- Italy vs Northern Ireland is live on Sky Sports Football.
- Coverage commences at 7pm – 45 minutes before kick-off.
- To stream the game live, head to Sky Go.
- Non-Sky Sports subscribers can still watch all the action with a Now TV Day Pass from £9.99
Defender Alessandro Bastoni and midfielders Stefano Sensi and Nicolo Barella are doubts for Italy while Bryan Cristante is out.
Gian Marco Ferrari, Rafael Toloi and Matteo Ricci could all be in line for debuts.
Conor Washington is ruled out for Northern Ireland, who have no further injury worries.
Northern Ireland 20/1
Welcome to our live blog of the 2022 World Cup qualifier between Italy and Northern Ireland.
Ian Baraclough’s side get their Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifying underway this evening, but are facing a tough test in the form of Roberto Mancini’s Italy.
The Azzurri haven’t lost a home match in a Euros or World Cup qualifying campaign since a 3-2 defeat to Denmark in a Euro 2000 qualifier in September 1999.
They are unbeaten in FIFTY home qualifying games since then (W41 D9), and have never lost a home World Cup qualifier in 55 matches (W46 D9).
Northern Ireland will be eager to bounce back from a heartbreaking defeat in the play off for a Euro 2020 spot, losing 2-1 in extra time to Slovakia.
Kick off tonight is 8pm and full team news is coming up next.
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