Italy – World Cup 2010 – Betting

World Cup appearances: 16

Best World Cup: Champions; 1934, 1938, 1982, 2006

FIFA World Ranking: 5

Nicknames: Azzurri

Manager: Marcello Lippi

 Group – F

 

Italy Team Profile

Where do we start with the Italians, the current World Cup champions! They are one of the most efficent footballing nations on the planet and rarely will you see an Italian side stroll into the finals and leave with their tails between their legs. This will be their 17th showing in a World Cup, and while that will sound an incredibly high amount of turnouts, it isn’t the most as Brazil claim that honour, as they’ve appeared in every single World Cup, but the Italians are level in second place alongside the consistent Germans, which just goes to show how consistent a nation Italy are.

The pressure will be on them this time around though, as they are the reigning champions and like all champions they are expect to do well, the fans demand that they do well while every other nation competing will be vying for their crown. However, their squad isn’t one of the strongest travelling to South Africa but their 23 man squad didn’t look all that great in 2006 and that didn’t stop them lifting the prestigious trophy aloft. That was their fourth World Cup success, their first in 24 years, and were they to rule supreme in South Africa they would go level with Brazil on five World Cup’s won.

 

Betting Brief:

You can’t go far wrong with the Italians as they are one of the more consistent nations around, while you’ll have to stretch all the way back to 1974 for when Italy last failed to bypass the group stages of the competition. Since that disappointing campaign back in 1974, though, Italy have lost twice in the Round of 16 stage (The first knock-out fixture after the groups), lost out in the quarter’s once, and finished in the Semi-Final’s and above in their remaining six appearances, winning two titles along the way. Also, the Italians have a mean final record once they get there, winning four out of six finals they’ve appeared in.

This time, though, the Italians don’t appear to have that strong a squad, and this isn’t made any better by the fact that Marcello Lippi, the Italy manager, tends to prefer experience over youth, and this ageing Italian team looked a dieing breed at the Confederations Cup last year, in which Italy didn’t even make it past the group stage of that competition, being beaten by the Egyptians and getting demolished by a classy Brazil. They do have some serious quality, though, but Lippi has been reluctant to hand some fresh, young blood the opportunity to shine and he will only have a handful of youngsters to choose from in South Africa, unless he picks a few surprise players on squad selection day. However, Davide Santon and Guiseppe Rossi are two bright sparks for Italy, with the latter a serious star in the making, if only Lippi would give them a chance.

World Cup Potential – 3/5

 

Italy World Cup Betting Odds

Italy to win the World Cup (Outright odds) – 13/1 William Hill

Before the World Cup the odds on Italy were 16/1 

Manager

Marcello Lippi is one of the most successful managers on the planet and has won just about every honour known to man in football as a manager. He has spent all of his managerial days involved with Italy, whether that be with the National side or coaching clubs within Italy. His honours range from winning the Serie A title no less than five times, to winning the UEFA Champions League, all coming when he was at the helm of Juventus during their glory days.

Lippi has been said to have put the morale and spirit of the team before anything else, and believes a positive aurora around the squad is the basis for a successful team. He also believes greatly in the value of teamwork, and is not a fan of selfish individuals who wish to seek out the glory all for themselves. This strict yet honest approach has made him one of the most successful managers in the history of the sport, and the matter of him guiding Italy to the World Cup trophy in 2006 puts him up their as one of the greatest.

 

Italy Key Players

Gianluigi Buffon (Goalkeeper) – The Juventus shot-stopper has remained as one of the world’s best goalkeepers for well over a decade now and his reliable displays between the sticks has earned him 100 caps for his country and has rarely missed a game an International level, much is his dominance in that position in Italy. He could spend half the game twiddling his thumbs when all of a sudden he will be called upon and nine times out of ten, Buffon delivers with a stunning save. There is no point listing his qualities as he has just about everything a keeper needs to be the very best; he’s quick, extremely agile, cool under pressure and a great defensive organiser.

Fabio Cannavaro – Some will claim he is past it while others reckon he’s one of the best defenders to ever embrace the game. At 36 years or age, Cannavaro will be the oldest player in the Italian squad when they head out to African in the summer, and it comes as no surprise to hear that he is the most capped Italian player earning a staggering 131 caps for his country. However, with all the nostalgic records out of the way, his inclusion into the heart of the Italian defence has been greeted with a mixed response, a lot of it negative, as many believe Cannavaro is too old to keep up with the pace of today’s football and that, although his experience is priceless, a defender with more youth on his side should be his replacement. Lippi, though, has stuck by his captain and will do so during South Africa. Only time will tell as to whether this was a good or bad move, and if we will see Cannavaro lift the Jules Rimet trophy for the second successive time.

Guiseppe Rossi – We’ve mentioned two golden oldies if you like but now it’s time to speak about the Italian’s future star in the making – Guiseppe Rossi. The Villarreal striker hasn’t always been a prominent inclusion in Lippi’s starting line up but his efforts at the Confederations Cup made him the stand out player in what was a poor Italian showing. He is, though, getting more first team action as he steadily improves his game, but his three goals in 14 appearances, albeit most of them from the bench, won’t have warmed the heart of manager, Marcello Lippi. Give the chance, though, Rossi could be one of the stars for Italy in South Africa as he provides Italy with a pacey striking outlet, which differs from their usual hold’em-up style of play with tally, lanky forwards often preferred.

 

Pro’s / Con’s

Italy’s biggest asset and probably the only fear factor surrounding them is their immense consistency on the big stage. Time and time again the Italians spring a surprise by going further than anyone had previously anticipated before the tournament kicked-off, and this chanted life they live is one of the reasons why most nations will want to avoid the Italians when the knock-out stage of the competition comes around.

Our biggest concern with them is the overall age of their squad. There will be more than half-a-dozen 30+ years old players at the tournament representing Italy, and in a climate where the speed of the game has significantly increased, questions will be asked over whether an ageing Italian side can keep up with the pace of their opponents. This pointer was proved correct in last summers Confederations Cup in which the Italians were knocked out at just the group stage of the competition, losing to both Egypt & Brazil, a thumping defeat to Brazil at that. Italy looked rigid and stiff, with their defence heavily criticised after a poor showing.

 

Italy Qualification for the World Cup

Italy won Group 8 in the European zone, a group which consisted of some really ordinary nations as well as some really poor nations, so it was no surprise that Italy did qualify as group winners, although they did leave it later than expected. Their main challengers for automatic qualification were the Republic of Ireland & Bulgaria, but neither really pushed the Italians as they qualified with six points in hand over second placed, Republic of Ireland.

To their credit, Italy did remain unbeaten throughout qualifying, winning seven of ten qualifiers, with the remaining three all finishing as draws. They scored 18 goals and conceded just the 7 in return, while Alberto Gilardino finished the campaign as top goalscorer for his country, although his tally of four goals will hardly set the world alight.

Italy did, however, concede five goals in their last two qualifiers at a time when they were all but home and hosed.

 

Official Italy World Cup Squad

Goalkeepers

Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus)

Morgan De Sanctis (SSC Napoli)

Federico Marchetti (Cagliari Calcio)

 

Defenders

Salvatore Bocchetti (FC Genoa)

Leonardo Bonucci (AS Bari)

Fabio Cannavaro (Juventus)

Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus)

Domenico Criscito (FC Genoa)

Christian Maggio (SSC Napoli)

Gianluca Zambrotta (AC Milan)

 

Midfielders

Mauro Camoranesi (Juventus Turin)

Daniele De Rossi (AS Roma)

Gennaro Gattuso (AC Milan)

Claudio Marchisio (Juventus)

Riccardo Montolivo (AC Firenze)

Angelo Palombo (Sampdoria Genoa)

Simone Pepe (Udinese Calcio)

Andrea Pirlo (AC Milan)

 

Strikers

Antonio Di Natale (Udinese Calcio)

Alberto Gilardino (AC Firenze)

Vincenzo Iaquinta (Juventus)

Giampaolo Pazzini (Sampdoria Genoa)

Fabio Quagliarella (SSC Napoli)

 

last update: 18 June 2010

 

World Cup 2010 Italy Fixtures – Group F

Date - Time Group Match Result
14/06 - 19.30 F Italy - Paraguay 1-1
15/06 - 12.30 F New Zealand - Slovakia 1-1
20/06 - 12.30 F Slovakia - Paraguay 0-2
20/06 - 15.00 F Italy - New Zealand 1-1
24/06 - 15.00 F Slovakia - Italy 3-2
24/06 - 15.00 F Paraguay - New Zealand 0-0

World Cup 2010 Group F - Table

Rank Team Matches / Points
1 Paraguay 3 Matches / 5 Points
2 Slovakia 3 Matches / 4 Points
3 New Zealand 3 Matches / 3 Points
4 Italy 3 Matches / 2 Points

World Cup Fixtures and Results

 



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