Italy tend to go to either extreme – they are either dreadful, or absolutely unplayable! A decent looking squad from them for Brazil – here it is in full:
Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon, Salvatore Sirigu, Mattia Perin
Defenders: Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci, Giorigo Chiellini, Gabriel Paletta, Ignazio Abate, Mattia De Sciglio, Matteo Darmian
Midfielders: Andrea Pirlo, Claudio Marchisio, Thiago Motta, Marco Verratti, Daniele De Rossi, Antonio Candreva, Marco Parolo, Alberto Aquilani
Forwards: Mario Balotelli, Antonio Cassano, Alessio Cerci, Ciro Immobile, Lorenzo Insigne
Italy came through qualifying unbeaten with 6 wins and 4 draws in their 10 games. They were not at their scintillating best but were good enough to beat what was put infront of them. Denmark were the nearest challenger, finishing with 16 points.
Ones to Watch:
Ciro Immobile – the new Dortmund striker had a stop season, coming from nowhere to claim top scorer in Serie A. Balotelli may start ahead of him, but in his form he should be making appearances.
Antonio Candreva – Very pacey, very direct, very skilful. At Lazio he is a player I have watched for a few seasons and one I like a lot. Hopefully he will get some game time as he will do well.
Giorgio Chiellini – Their star centre back. He is key to their chances, as Italian teams usually have a solid defence.
(4-3-3): Buffon, De Sciglio, Bonucci, Barzagli, Chiellini, Marchisio, Pirlo, De Rossi, Balotelli, Immobile, Candreva.
Winner – 25/1
Group Winner – 13/8
To Qualify – 4/11
Under 5.5 Group Goals – 1/2
Round of Elimination: Quarter Finals – 11/4
Despite some poor results lately, and no win since September last year – we fancy Italy to make it through the group stage and possibly to the Quarter Finals. They have a good enough team, it’s just a case of weather they pull it together for the biggest prize of all! Not a lot of Evenish prices around for them, but as far as value goes Under 5.5 Group goals at 1/2 is our Top Tip, as well as Group Winner at 13/8