Monday, August 21, 2017

Giovanni Trapattoni wary of Azzurri threat at Euro 2012

Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni is fully aware of the Azzurri threat at Euro 2012, despite the lingering effects of the Scommessopoli scandal on his compatriots.

“It would be a great mistake if you think Italy is this [finished], because we don’t know how they have done in their training camp,” Trapattoni told RTE.

“Be sure when we meet Italy, they will be another team. We can see what the group did, but don’t think this is the violin.”

Last week, Lazio captain Stefano Mauri was arrested by Italian authorities following his link to an international match-fixing scandal.

In addition, Zenit St. Petersburg left-back Domenico Criscito was left out of Italy’s Euro 2012 squad as a result of the Scommessopoli scandal investigation.

To make matters worse, Italy suffered an embarrassing 3-0 defeat to Russia on Friday, 1 June.

Second-half goals from Zenit St Petersburg duo Alexander Kerzhakov (60′) and Roman Shirokov (75′, 89′) sunk the Azzurri.

Now then, Italy will kick-off their 2012 European Championships campaign against defending champions Spain on 10 June.

At the moment, it’s tough to fancy the Italians to get a result against La Furia Roja, but they’ve got a very talented squad nonetheless.

Here is the Azzurri’s final Euro 2012 squad:

Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Morgan De Sanctis (SSC Napoli), Salvatore Sirigu (Paris Saint-Germain FC)

Defenders: Ignazio Abate (AC Milan), Federico Balzaretti (US Città di Palermo), Andrea Barzagli (Juventus), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Christian Maggio (SSC Napoli), Angelo Ogbonna (Torino FC)

Midfielders: Daniele De Rossi (AS Roma), Alessandro Diamanti (Bologna FC), Emanuele Giaccherini (Juventus) Claudio Marchisio (Juventus), Riccardo Montolivo (ACF Fiorentina), Thiago Motta (Paris Saint-Germain FC), Antonio Nocerino (AC Milan), Andrea Pirlo (Juventus)

Forwards: Mario Balotelli (Manchester City FC), Fabio Borini (AS Roma), Antonio Cassano (AC Milan), Antonio Di Natale (Udinese Calcio), Sebastian Giovinco (FC Parma)

Euro 2012 Betting Odds: Italy

The Azzurri are 14/1 to win Euro 2012, and 11/4 to win Group C outright. As a result, Italy are 3/5 to qualify for the knockout stages of the tournament.

Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli is 7/2 to be Italy’s top goalscorer at this summer’s European Championships, and 25/1 to be the top overall goalscorer in Poland-Ukraine.

Italy, England and France are 12/1 to be the team to score the most goals at Euro 2012. In comparison, Spain are 5/2 and Germany are 11/4 to score the most goals in this summer’s UEFA European Football Championship.

Euro 2012 Betting Odds: Croatia

Considering the Azzurri’s off-the-pitch distractions, betting on Croatia to qualify for the knockout stages seems plausible at 13/8 odds.

Croatia’s Euro 2012 squad is highlighted by Tottenham Hotspur midfield maestro Luka Modrić and Everton striker Nikica Jelavić.

Jelavić is 7/2 to be Croatia’s top talisman at Euro 2012.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shawn Etemadi


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