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World Cup Qualifying: Azzurri kick off with Northern Ireland on 25 March

The calendar for UEFA qualifying has been published: Italy also take on Bulgaria and Lithuania in March, Switzerland on 5 September

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

World Cup Qualifying: Azzurri kick off with Northern Ireland on 25 March

First up for Roberto Mancini’s side on the road to Qatar 2022: Northern Ireland. The Azzurri, who were placed in Group C at the draw in Zurich on Monday, will kick start their World Cup qualifying campaign against Northern Ireland on 25 March. Italy welcome the Green and White Army for the first of three fixtures in an international break, which will also see them face Bulgaria (28/3) and Lithuania (31/3).

Qualification will then get back underway in September 2021, after the finals of the Euros, with Italy hosting Bulgaria (2/9), before heading to Switzerland to take on perhaps the most dangerous side in the group. In October, there’s time enough for the finals of the Nations League - to be hosted in Milan and Turin - in which the Azzurri will be fighting for the title with Spain, Belgium and France. November’s international break will see Italy playing their final two games in Group C; on 12 November, they host Switzerland and, three days later, they travel to Northern Ireland - hopefully with direct qualification to the tournament in Qatar already in the bag.

The ten group winners will qualify automatically for the final tournament, while the final three European teams in Qatar will be decided via the playoffs. These playoffs will involve all of the group runners-up, as well as the two best-ranking Nations League group winners, who have not already secured automatic qualification.

For the complete Calendar of Group C, click here.

Italy's fixtures in World Cup qualifying*

25 March 2021: Italy vs. Northern Ireland (20:45)
28 March 2021: Bulgaria vs. Italy (20:45)
31 March 2021: Lithuania vs. Italy (20:45)
2 September 2021: Italy vs. Bulgaria (20:45)
5 September 2021: Switzerland vs. Italy (20:45)
8 September 2021: Italy vs. Lithuania (20:45)
12 November 2021: Italy vs. Switzerland (20:45)
15 November 2021: Northern Ireland vs. Italy (20:45)

*All times in Central European Time/Central European Summer Time.