Sunday, October 21, 2018

Prediction: Italy vs Netherlands

Ashley Randall in Free Soccer Predictions 4 Jun 2018

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Verdict: Over 2.5 goals

Best Odds: 23/20

Bookmaker: Bet 365

Italy face Netherlands on Monday night in a friendly match at the Allianz Stadium. Both teams missed out on a place at the 2018 World Cup and will be hoping for confidence boosting wins.

Italy

There’s no doubt that Italy will have been disappointed and embarrassed not to qualify for the World Cup. The Azzurri were humbled by Sweden in the play-offs, and it’s now up to newly-assigned manager Roberto Mancini to turn things around. Since the former Manchester City boss’ appointment, Italy have beaten Saudi Arabia at home and lost to France away. The Italians have always been a great force in front of their home crowd, but it’s their consistency that Mancini has to address. The 53-year-old has thrown in some younger players during this batch of friendlies, but it’s not a squad that’s full of excitement, particularly in the striking department. Lorenzo Insigne and Simone Zaza both look very poor at international level, and the recalled Mario Balotelli has been out of the fold for quite a few years. Mancini will be hoping he can motivate his team to a much-needed morale booster ahead of the September UEFA Nations League meetings.

Team News

Mario Balotelli may struggle to retain his place up front after failing to make an impact against France.

25-year-old Mattia Perin may be given a chance in goal after impressing this season for Genoa.

Netherlands

Like Italy, the Netherlands squad will be watching this summer’s World Cup from the comfort of their homes. A thoroughly disappointing qualifying campaign saw them finish second behind Sweden, and they’ve a lot of work to do if they want restore national pride.  The Dutch have struggled with the recent retirements of Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben, and there seems to be a lack of quality emerging through the ranks. With appose to Ajax’s 18-year-old defender Matthijs de Ligt, there’s only one other player in the squad who is under 23. Despite this obvious concern, it must be noted that Netherlands have only lost once in their last eight internationals. This was a 1-0 reverse to England, but they did manage to impressively beat Portugal 3-0 in March. In an attacking sense, Ronald Koeman’s men may lack the creativity of recent years, but they do have notable pace. This game looks suited for them to break on the counter, and Memphis Depay will be the main man to watch.

Team News

Ronald Koeman is expected to stick to his three-man centre back system that has rewarded him well so far.

Ryan Babel or Wout Weghorst could come in for Quincy Promes up front.

Conclusion

We do think there’s going to be goals in this one with both teams possessing an obvious attacking threat. Hopefully we’re in for an entertaining game.

Verdict: Over 2.5 goals

Best Odds: 23/20

Bookmaker: Bet 365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ashley Randall


Ash is a freelance football writer who lives, breathes and dreams the beautiful game. A lifelong Wolverhampton Wanderers season ticket holder, if he isn't at Molineux then he will be watching any game on television that he can set his eyes on. Producing work for various football websites and publications, Ash has also written for regional newspapers and global magazines.

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