Italy already have qualification and top spot in Group J in the bag ahead of next summer's UEFA Euro 2020, so the Azzurri will likely rest key players for the match against Bosnia and Herzegovina on Friday.
Roberto Mancini's squad will arrive at the Bilino Polje Stadium in Zenica with some uncapped players featured. They include Bologna winger Riccardo Orsolini, who will be expected to supply the likes of Ciro Immobile, Lorenzo Insigne and Andrea Belotti with chances.
Meanwhile, Bosnia's play-off hopes are still flickering, and Robert Prosinecki has enough midfield quality at his disposal to earn a memorable win. Juventus playmaker Miralem Pjanic remains the key man, while Amer Gojak also has a keen eye for a pass and the technique to find the net on a regular basis.
Their guile will be vital in getting AS Roma centre-forward Edin Dzeko involved early and often.
Date: Friday, November 15
Time: 7:45 p.m. GMT/2:45 p.m. ET
TV Info: Sky Sports (Red Button)
- Bosnia: +210 (bet $100 to win $210)
- Italy: +120
- Draw: +265
Odds per Caesars.
Orsolini has dazzled Serie A audiences with his combination of pace, trickery and end product. The 22-year-old's two goals and three assists at club level already this season mean he merits his place in Mancini's group.
The same is true of another senior first-timer, Gaetano Castrovilli. His technique and energy have made him a star for Fiorentina, and Mancini will rely on the classy No. 8 to pull the strings from central areas.
There won't be any problem getting goals if the service from midfield is right considering the talent Italy boast up top. Both Immobile and Insigne possess the pace and movement to undermine any defence.
Bosnia's best strategy will be to keep the ball away from the Azzurri. Fortunately, bossing possession is the forte of Pjanic and Gojak.
Dinamo Zagreb star Gojak has showcased his quality throughout the qualifying campaign:
Dzeko and the Bosnia forward line will cause Italy more than a few problems if Gojak and Pjanic are allowed time and space early. Bosnia need to shift the ball quickly and make the most of the chances their technicians create.
Italy lacking the impetus and motivation that would be present if qualification was still in doubt means Prosinecki's men have little excuse not to produce a positive result on home soil and take the fight for the play-offs to the last matchday.