Italy v Slovakia Preview: Odds & Betting Tips – Thursday, 24th June (Group F)

22nd June 2010 | World Cup Betting category: World Cup Previews & Predictions
World Cup Previews & Predictions

Italy v Slovakia Betting Odds

Italy to win: 4/7 at SkyBet
Draw: 3/1 at Bet365
Slovakia to win: 6/1 at Victor Chandler

Italy

Italy, the defending World Champions, despite not playing to their best potential, still seem to have one foot in the second round of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. After two drawn matches in their two Group F matches, Italy find themselves on two points, but miraculously in second place in the group. They will have been happy with the point which they took away from their opening group match against the lively Paraguayan side, knowing that it was the first match and that it would be their toughest opposition in the group. However, they will, in no way shape or form, have been happy with the draw they got against the World Cup minnows New Zealand. Italy fell behind for the second time in their two matches, as the Kiwis opened up a shock lead. But, as against Paraguay, Italy rode their luck a bit in getting an equaliser, with a penalty that Iaquinto buried. The biggest criticism that will be levelled at the Italians, is that they have not created enough clear cut chances, and that their forwards look to be coming up short on the world stage. It is true that they are not as complete a side as they were four years ago at Germany ‘06, but still, more would have been expected out of Marcelo Lippi’s side. They have had a lot of possession in their two matches, they just have not really known what to do with it.

There may not be even reason for Lippi to hit the panic button just yet, as he will back his side to pull through. Another draw could be enough for them to see themselves through to the second round of the 2010 FIFA World cup, as table topping Paraguay take on New Zealand, and will be expected to win. New Zealand are, quite unexpectedly, on level points with Paraguay and so there is a risk that the Italians will not see the second round. But the bigger risk is from Slovakia themselves, who, with a win, would elimiate Italy from the competition. That is how close it is for Lippi, who must not be frantically be searching for answers behind the scenes, even if he is calm on the outside. Lippi has been quite brave with his attack minded 4-3-3 approach to the matches, but there has just not been enough creativity or convinction in what they are doing. This stems from not having World Class strikers and therefore they are trying to over compensate. They are missing Andrea Pirlo, who is pivotal in the centre of midfield, but there is a sense that even if he is there pulling the strings, then Italy are still going to be too short up front to realistically defend their title. Group F is still wide open, and Italy are by no means certain of going further in the competition. They will have their work cut out for them against a hard working Slovakia side, who are still in with a chance of qualification themselves.

Italy should have the will and experience to get through this early challenge. They were expected to win their group with ease, after being given one of the easiest draws out of all the seeded teams. It has not worked out that way clearly, as they struggle to produce their best game. Italy have not been bad, and they look as if a good win would sort out a lot of their problems. They have been passing the ball around quite well, and generally controlling things, but they have lacked the quality to get into the dangerous positions in the last third of the pitch. While they may be able to get away with it in this group, much tougher challenges will await them. They will want to push on and do all that they can to finish in first place though, for if they finish second, then they would meet the in form Dutch in the last sixteen of the tournament.

Italy World Cup 2010 Stats

Played: W0, D2, L0
GF/GA: 2/2
Cards: Y1, R0
Most Shots: Ricardo Montolivo, 8
Top Scorer: Daniele De Rossi, Vincenzo Iaquinta, 1
Shots/On Goal: 33/12
Fouls Committed: 26
Total Passes: 1182
Pass Completion: 72%

Slovakia

Slovakia will be putting up a defensive wall which they hope the uninspiring Italians will have a hard time breaking down. Slovakia themselves will be a bit disappointed with their results so far, after promising a little bit better ahead of the tournament. The sucker punch for them came in their opening match, when New Zealand grabbed an unlikely draw right at the death of injury time, which left Slovakia reeling. Instead of having three points, they were left with one, and their confidence was nowhere to be seen in their second match when they lost to Paraguay. They not only lost, they were comfortably outplayed, and they must get both of those monkeys off their back if they are to raise one last valiant effort and throw everything that they have at Italy. A win for Slovakia would put them through, assuming that New Zealand do not Paraguay. There is everything to play for in this tight group, with all four teams in with a good chance of qualification. But having your noses in front is a much more enviable position in these times, and Italy realistically have a better chance of going through. But Slovakia will have eyed up Italy’s weaknesses going forward, and they will back their own defence to hold out. Slovakia are a side short of goals themselves, but can they grab that one vital one which will send them through against the odds?

Slovakia World Cup 2010 Stats
Played: W0, D1, L1
GF/GA: 1/3
Cards: Y4, R0
Most Shots:
Top Scorer:
Shots/On Goal: 19/4
Fouls Committed: 29
Total Passes: 879
Pass Completion: 66%

Asian Handicap Betting Tip: It was not supposed to all come down to this clash of Europeans. It was expected to be a lot more comfortable for Marcelo Lippi’s Italy. Their best has deserted them when they have needed it most, and they have looked panicked at times into playing aimless long balls. That is not the Italian way. They need to find their best form now, as their slow start may prove too costly for them. Would not particularly back against a draw in this one, but Italy need more and would be delighted to edge the match by one goal. That’s the Italian way.
Italy -1 for Evens at Paddy Power
 

 

Current Slovakia V Italy Odds:

 




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