Thursday, June 24, 2010

Slovakia vs Italy - Preview


Group F, 14:00 GMT, June 24, 2010
Ellis Park, Johannesburg, South Africa

The world champions come into a must-win game in poor form. Italy have drawn against Paraguay and New Zealand already at this World Cup and their last three matches in the tournament (including the 2006 final) has seen them concede first before drawing 1-1.

The only previous encounter between these two sides was a 3-0 win for Italy in 1998, but with Group F the group of draws, one wonders if Italy have enough to see themselves safely through.

Team Stat Comparison

Matches Played22
Table Position42
Goal Difference-20
Goals for *0.00.0
Goals against *2.00.0
Last 5L-DD-D
Last 5 homeLD-D
Last 5 awayD
*  Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club
Stats: Slovakia | Italy

Competition Stats

GoalsRobert Vittek 1Vincenzo Iaquinta 1
YellowsStanislav Sestak 1Mauro Camoranesi 1
Squads: Slovakia | Italy

Slovakia player to watch: Martin Skrtel. The Liverpool defender was an injury doubt before the tournament, but he has come to the fore and shown some commanding performances in the heart of Slovakia's defence. Strong and as committed as any player in South Africa, Skrtel's physicality has stopped the minnows being rolled over and he will have to be at his best again to keep Italy off the scoresheet.
Italy player to watch: Daniele De Rossi. The Roma star is highly rated by his team-mates and is seen as one of the best midfielders in the world. Combative, tough and aggressive, he has said that Italy must put in a much better performance than they have thus far, saying: ''We'll have to improve quickly, because otherwise we won't be going far." How he manages to distribute the ball in the centre will play a large part in Italy's hopes of success.
Key Battle: Jan Mucha v Vincenzo Iaquinta. If Slovakia follow their pattern of play, then a lot of the game could be played in their own half. Italy have strikers who are the subject of interest in every transfer window, but they have not lit up the World Cup thus far. Mucha has shown glimpses of his talent in between the sticks, while Iaquinta has struggled in front of goal and only managed to net from the spot against New Zealand.
Trivia: Italy have conceded two goals from the only two shots on target they have conceded at this World Cup.
Stats: Italy have scored 11 of their last 16 goals at World Cup finals from set-pieces, while three of the four matches in Group F have finished 1-1.
Odds: Slovakia (6.50), Italy (1.53) and a draw (4.00) are all available at Bet 365, but a 1-1 draw will get you 8.00.
Prediction: A 1-1 draw seems likely given the poor form of both teams, but one feels Italy have to turn it around eventually and now may be that time.

Italy 1-0.

Hip hip hooray for the defending champions....

No comments:

Post a Comment