Italy vs Saudi Arabia
Competition: International friendly
Date: 28 May 2018
Kick-off: 20:45 CET
It’s been months, but it still feels… weird thinking that Italy won’t be in the World Cup finals, for the first time in 60 years. They – finally – have a new coach, Roberto Mancini, who included Mario Balotelli in his… chosen ones. What can someone expect from Italy at this point? Hard to say, not only because this is Mancini’s first game in charge, but also because the Italian players are not preparing for the World Cup finals, so it’ll be interesting to see how seriously they’ll take a friendly game against an opponent that is not… England, for example. Back in March, in their last friendly match, Italy drew 1-1 to the English, putting on a decent performance. Mancini is expected to start the game with Donnarumma, Darmian, Rugani, Bonucci, De Sciglio, Veratti, Pellegrini, Parolo, Insigne, Candreva and Immobile.
Unlike other teams preparing for the World Cup finals, Saudi Arabia have already played two friendly games earlier this month, beating both Algeria and Greece by the same score, 2-0. The season in Saudi Arabia ends earlier than in Europe for example, and that gave their coach, Pizzi, the opportunity to gather his players earlier, start training, and even play against the national team of others countries whose season was over (the two previous friendly games were held on non-FIFA calendar dates. Saudi Arabia will be facing Russia, Uruguay and Egypt in the World Cup finals. They will be reappearing at the biggest football competition in the world (at national team level) after 12 years. Last time they were present was back in 2006, in Germany.
Previous five matches:
England vs Italy 1-1
Argentina vs Italy 2-0
Italy vs Sweden 0-0
Sweden vs Italy 1-0
Albania vs Italy 0-1
Saudi Arabia vs Greece 2-0
Saudi Arabia vs Algeria 2-0
Belgium vs Saudi Arabia 4-0
Saudi Arabia vs Ukraine 1-1
Iraq vs Saudi Arabia 4-1
Italy’s next game is on Friday, against France. On Sunday, Saudi Arabia will be facing Peru.
Italy vs Saudi Arabia: Head to head Stats
This is the first game ever between these two.
Italy vs Saudi Arabia: Prediction
At 1.16, I wouldn’t touch Italy’s win, no matter how obvious it seems (and is) to bet on their victory. I prefer to focus on goals instead.
Italy vs Saudi Arabia: Betting Tips
“Under 2.5 goals” is a bet I like, at 2.00, expecting the Italians to win the game, but not really… step on it, offensively. Saudi Arabia’s +1.5 Asian handicap is at 2.35 betting odds, and suits my 1-0 hunch.
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