Slovakia vs Italy – betting tips, match preview and prediction

World Cup BettingItaly will play Slovakia in their group final at 15:00 BST in Johannesburg at Ellis Park. The defending world champions is in danger of early elimination after two draws in their first World Cup matches, but the Azzurri can decide their own fate by beating Slovakia today and claim their spot between the last 16 countries.

Match Preview

It was a shock for the Italian fans and most spectators in the football world, when the defending champions only managed to draw against New Zealand Sunday. The Italian side is in real danger of elimination now and although normal slow starters in big competitions, it is unusually below standard for the Azzurri so far. If Marcello Lippi’s side does not qualify for the last 16, it would be the first time since 1974 for Italy and the second as defending champions. Fortunately Italy they can take matters into their own hands today and know a win would send them to the 1/8-finals. A draw could be enough as well, if Paraguay beat New Zealand or manages a score draw below the Italians. In addition we could see a Fifa lottery between Italy and New Zealand, if their matches draw at the same score line. This could mean, Italy’s fate would be decided by chance and a drawing of lots. But will Italy be the lucky one, we would not bet on this option in Italy’s shoes. Interestingly enough the Italians won in 1982 after drawing all three group matches, which could be the scenario again this year. However, Italy should be able to beat Slovakia today, but will need to be effective up front to do so.

The objective for Slovakia is quite simple; they have to win the match today to go through. It will be a though assignment for the Slovakians and most people do not fancy them many chances against Italy. After the loss against Paraguay, the media tension has increased at home and especially coach Vladimir Weiss has been subject to criticism. Rumours of him swearing at and threatening the media do not make things easier, if you consider the hard task at hand today. Nevertheless, they can still reach the final 16 at the World Cup, but surely need to focus their energy on the pitch and not the media.

Team Updates

The Slovakians will have winger Miroslav Stoch available again and will likely use his services to create more chances up front. In addition they might make some changes in their defence, as Kornel Salata openly admitted he was nervous in the last game. Substitute Marek Cech could be replacing him today, but it remains unknown at this point.

The Italians must create more chances today than they did against New Zealand and they could make changes up front with Antonio Di Natale or Giampaolo Pazzini. In addition Andrea Pirlo could rejoin the squad, which could prove to be an important supplement to their midfield. The playmaker has been out with a calf problem and will likely not be able to start the game.

Slovakia vs Italy betting tip

The betting pick will Italy as outright winner to odds 1.57 at 888 sports.

The biggest question is, whether Italy will get their offensive power in-line for the match today after disappointing performances. They are huge favorites against the Slovakians and are expected to win the match. The Italian fans and media are putting a lot of pressure on the team though, but the experienced Italian squad is used to the fanatic Italian press and can handle it. On the other hand Slovakia has disappointed and their mistake against New Zealand in overtime still seems to hunt them. We expect the slow Italian starters to begin their World Cup campaign today and win the match against Slovakia. Our match prediction will be 1-0 or 2-1 to the Italian side.

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