Italy – Azzurri under construction
By David, bettingexpert.com | Edited
They have been up there and held the most prestigious trophy of all in their hands. Then they went to their lowest ever in the last World Cup, still managed by Lippi and with few changes to the side that had brought joy to a nation. Prandelli’s job is now to rebuild on the ashes of one of the most successful nations in football.
Probable Tactics: 4-3-1-2
Players To Watch: Pirlo, Buffon
Formation: Buffon, Abate, Barzagli, Chiellini, Balzaretti, De Rossi, Pirlo,
Nocerino, Montolivo, Cassano, Di Natale
Euro 2012 Odds Italy
On the right are odds for the game against Ireland.
Euro 2012 Italy Preview
Just like Spain, Italy’s friendly games have not been a good indication of progress. However, whilst Spain do look like they can always start up their noisy engine for Italy that has to be a little more difficult. Prandelli does not have the players Spain can afford. Losing Cassano and Giuseppe Rossi to long term injuries that have kept them out for months this season is a blow which the team will not likely recover from.
The two forwards had been playing very well for their clubs before they were ruled out. With Totti and Del Piero out of contention upfront the Azzurri do lack the quality of players who know how to touch the ball and can create something from nothing. Cassano and Rossi were the answer all along. They might be recovered in time for the tournament but with so many months inactive their form will inevitably be affected. The edge they would have been able to give to Italy will surely be lost now.
True alternatives to these two stars are not available for Prandelli. Once he would have been able to play his favourite 4-3-3 but not anymore with strikers like Balotelli, Borini, Pazzini, Osvaldo, Matri and Giovinco. The latter may perhaps play in a wide role but so far the manager has not shown much faith in that project.
What Prandelli has done instead is move Montolivo further forward in order not to step on Pirlo’s toes in midfield. The two would be the central core of this team, instructed to create with their slick passing. Upfront it will most likely be a fast player partnered with one who can head the ball well. Osvaldo does look the favourite for the more static role with Matri the most likely alternative. As his shoulder the candidates are Balotelli and Di Natale.
The veteran Udinese striker is on his way to becoming the first Italian player to win the top scorer charts for three consecutive seasons. He has so far not been called up by Prandelli, blinded by the ‘young Italy’ project, but with sterility shown in attack in their latest friendlies and Di Natale’s endless run of good form the ex-Fiorentina manager will probably have to turn to him for goals. It has to be said though that Di Natale never really impressed with the national team, preferring the low profile club to make his mark.
It comes as no surprise that the backline is Italy’s major asset. The only doubt is on the right as Prandelli’s makes up his mind between Milan’s Abate and Napoli’s Maggio. The advantage of the Milan right-back is that he is used to play in a four-man defence. The rest is set with Chiellini and Barzagli asked to offer the same solidity as centre halves as they give at Juventus, and Balzaretti on left-back.
When it comes to goalkeepers Italy is always the best school. The main man in between the posts is of course Buffon but there are excellent alternatives too in Marchetti, De Sanctis, Abbiati, Sirigu, Sorrentino and De Sanctis
In the middle of the park there are quite a few players who will be battling for a place. De Rossi and Pirlo are set to start. The other place will most likely go to a defensive midfielder who can protect Pirlo in tandem De Rossi, yet one who, just like to Roma man, also has a knack for goals. Nocerino and Marchisio seem to fit the profile. Aquilani and Thiago Motta are too offensive-minded whilst Pepe could come in contention as well.
Italy 2012 – Resilient as always
The best odds are set at around 16.00 currently but we all know how often the Italians have fought against probability to claim a success. Resilience is in their character. However, theirs is a very young side and coming face to face with teams already accustomed to going close to final success, like Germany and Holland, they might not have the nerve to pull it through despite past results against those nations saying otherwise.
Euro 2012 Italy Players To Watch
Pirlo is the brains. As we have seen this season with Juventus the danger with placing midfield maestro in charge of it all is that man-marking him can clog the whole Italy engine. He also does tend to keep the ball a little too much and, sitting just in front of the defence, if he loses the ball the chances of that dealing damage to the rearguard are high. Otherwise he still remains the best outfield player for Prandelli with his vision and hawk eye the most potent weapon in Prandelli’s arsenal.
Buffon will have to be the other strong point for the Azzurri. A few miracles of his will be required along the way in order to keep this team in the running but he will also be aided by a centre-back duo that has proven solid guarding him at Juventus. Chiellini and Barzagli have the right chemistry and also the right experience not to disappoint.
Euro 2012 Betting Italy
Once out of the group stage opponents can become tough for a young side like Italy. They might have the right organization to defeat England or France, still trying to find their feet after some turmoil within their respective camps, but in the semifinals stages they should meet a Group B survivor. There is no team which can make it through the group of death, against whom Italy’s organized approach can actually be enough to break down quality.
Overall they have good players to choose from but lack the star man in attack who can get the goals they need to tilt the balance in their favour.
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