Sunday, June 20, 2010

Italy vs New Zealand - Preview

New Zealand

Group F, 14:00 GMT, June 20, 2010
Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit, South Africa

Team Stat Comparison

ItalyNew Zealand
Matches Played11
Table Position12
Goal Difference00
Goals for *1.00.0
Goals against *1.00.0
Last 5DD
Last 5 homeDD
Last 5 away
*  Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club
Stats: Italy | New Zealand

Competition Stats

ItalyNew Zealand
GoalsDaniele De Rossi 1Winston Reid 1
YellowsMauro Camoranesi 1Winston Reid 1
Squads: Italy | New Zealand

Italy player to watchGianluca Zambrotta - The ever reliable full back was the man of the match against Paraguay and provided the Italians with some much needed width. He makes intelligent runs and provides consistently good crosses into the box.
New Zealand player to watchShane Smeltz - The Gold Coast United striker got a taste for feeding on scraps against Slovakia and will have to do so again. However, he is the All Whites' best natural finisher and their top marksman in qualification with eight goals.
Key BattleClaudio Marchisio v Simon Elliott - The Juve midfielder prodded and probed without too much end product against Paraguay and he needs to up his game against New Zealand to provide the supply to Italy's strikers. The man hoping to stifle Marchisio will be 36-year-old veteran Elliot, who remains the most influential man in the All Whites' engine room and is a defensive midfielder of considerable poise.

The Azzurri also have to make changes at the back after goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon was ruled out until the latter stages of the World Cup with a herniated disc problem, meaning Federico Marchetti, who came on at half-time against Paraguay, will start.

Trivia: These teams have only met once, in June 2009, when Italy won 4-3 despite having been behind three times during the match.
Stats: The Azzurri's second choice keeper Federico Marchetti, who will start in Nelspruit, has kept four clean sheets in six caps so far.
Odds: Italy (1.22), New Zealand (15.00), the draw (6.00) are all on offer atBet365, but a 1-1 draw will get 13.00.
Prediction: After a relatively poor opening game Italy will be fully focused on taking all three points against the minnows of the World Cup. This could be a high-scoring game.

Italy 3-0 if they get used to Jabulani !!!

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