Italy vs New Zealand – betting tips, match prediction and preview

World Cup BettingIn the second World Cup match on Sunday Italy plays New Zealand in group F at Nelspruit. Defending world champions Italy disappointingly played 1-1 against Paraguay in their match and will be looking for rehabilitation and three points against New Zealand, who surprisingly managed to draw 1-1 against Slovakia in their opener.

Match Preview

We have witnessed some surprising results during the World Cup so far with defeats to countries like Spain, France and Germany. New Zealand also surprised against Slovakia and got their first-ever World Cup points, when young defender Winston Reid made an injury-time equalizer for the All Whites. The question is whether the defending world champions could be next, as the outsiders from New Land take on the Azzurri. The result surely gave the All Whites a confidence boost and showed they can fight to the last minute, if necessary to come back or win.

Although the Italians disappointed against Paraguay and only managed 1-1 after an error from Paraguay’s goalkeeper, they did show some promising play during the match. The Azzurri deservingly got the equalizer in the second half and did invest forward to secure the win in the end. Unfortunately for Italy their experienced goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon was injured in the process. It is a hard blow for the Italians, as they are now forced to play with Federico Marchetti, who has only 6 internationals for Italy so far and made his way to Serie A only two years ago.

Team Updates

As mentioned, keeper Gianluigi Buffon will not be playing and is replaced by Federico Marchetti on goal. In addition playmaker Andrea Pirlo is still out with a calf problem. The Italians could change formation as well for the match, as the 4-4-2 proved much more effective against Paraguay in the second part of game.

We expect New Zealand to use the same formation as against Slovakia, although midfielder Tim Brown could replace Ivan Vicelich after his recovery from a shoulder injury.

Italy vs New Zealand betting tip

Our betting pick will be the Italy-1 handicap draw at odds 3.50 at 888 sports.

The surprises just keep coming at this World Cup, but should we expect one here. The two sides played each other last year with a resulting 4-3 win to Italy in high a scoring friendly match, where Italy had a lot of problems with the long balls from New Zealand. Competitive matches are an entirely different matter though and we do not expect the Italians to give away much in the match today. On other hand New Zealand proved their well-organized defensive against Slovakia and did not give away many chances, in a game Slovakia dominated. We could see the same today with Italy controlling the game and pushing for a goal, while New Zealand will concentrate on their organization and try to score on a free kick or corner kick. This said, the Italians are known to play to win and will be satisfied by 1-0, which will be our match prediction.

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