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FOOTBALL TRADER BEN CLEMINSON TAKES A LOOK AT ITALY’S FINAL GROUP MATCH AGAINST SLOVAKIA

CHAMPIONS Italy have played nothing like their title suggests at this tournament and they are very lucky that they are still in with a decent chance of qualifying from Group F.

Marcello Lippi’s side have lacked ideas but with Paraguay likely to beat New Zealand in the other game, a draw could feasibly be enough for the Azzurri to progress to the second round, where they would be likely to meet Holland.

Slovakia have had a pretty poor tournament, drawing with New Zealand in their opener and then being comfortably beaten 2-0 by Paraguay last time. They would have to win this and hope Paraguay beat New Zealand to have any chance of qualifying.

Goals have been a problem for the Italians in recent seasons and I wouldn’t expect them
to win any game at this World Cup comfortably. However, they should have too much firepower for the Slovaks and are worth backing at 4/7 with Paddy Power to arrest the slide of the poor performing favourites at this year’s tournament. I was initially interested in the HT draw / FT Italy result, but 10/3 is just too skinny for me.

The correct score market is always difficult to predict, but I can see this being a tight, nervy encounter and there is a little value in backing the 1-0 Italy win at 5/1 on Betdaq. It doesn’t look like being a thriller by any stretch of the imagination, so spread bettors should also look to sell Sporting Index’s goals prediction at 2.5.


POINTERS...
Italy to win at 4/7 with Paddy Power
Italy to win 1-0 at 5/1 on Betdaq
Sell total match goals at 2.5 with Sporting Index