Posted: 2/6/2013 10:05:40 AM
Covers Posted Soccer: 78-56 +46.24 units
Italy v Netherlands over 2/2.5 -114 to win 2 units
I’m expecting a lot of goals between two teams. Under Prandelli the Italians have attacked more and it looks like he will go with his super duo (and in form teammates) Mario Balotelli and El Shawaarey. Prandelli is well aware that they have now lost 5 international friendlies in a row (no big deal because Italy is known for using these games to test tactics, players and matchups) but because Prandelli is bringing his full squad with him tells me that he wants to win this game and put on an “A Team” effort.
Netherlands skipper Van Gaal confirmed that Van Persie will be in the squad today but he will also use this game to get a look at other players. According to the reports, the hosts will be testing a new formation with defenders with very little experience at that formation let alone that the international experience level for many of their defenders is low. Expect some mistakes in the host’s defending and midfield play today that should open up some chances for Italy.
Both teams are averaging 2 goals of offence per game in their last 5 internationals. Netherlands has scored 13 and allowed 2 goals in their last 5 internationals for an average total of 3.00 per game. Italy has scored 11 but allowed 6 in their last 5 international games for an average of 3.4.
What is certain is that both teams are in top scoring form and have the players up front to score. As I noted at the outset, the questionable defences of these two teams should lead to some nervous moments in front of both goals with both teams capable of finding the back of the net.
Probable starting 11 for Italy:
Abate, Barzagli, Astori, Santon
Montolivo, Pirlo, Giaccherini
Candreva, Balotelli, El Shaarawy
Noteable absentees for Italy include Giovinco, Giorgio Chiellini, Federico Balzaretti, Christian Maggio and Claudio Marchisio.
Netherlads likely starters:
Van Rhijn, De Vrij, Mathijsen, Martins Indi
Clasie, Maher, Strootman
Kuyt, Van Persie, Lens
Noteable absentees Michel Vorm, Nigel de Jong, Erik Pieters and Luciano Narsingh. He will be fielding a relatively young squad with an average age of 25.
All things considered, all of my models give me the exact same 2-1 scoreline with Italy prevailing in 3 and Netherlands in one.
There you have it. I will add more if I play them but best to stick to the teams you know when betting friendlies ... they are after all, exhibition games used for managers to test players, tactics and chemistry.