Italy v Netherlands – 04.06.2018 – Betting Tip
A friendly on Monday at Allianz Arena in Turin will be the summit of the summer for these two European giants who have both failed to qualify for the World Cup in Russia. Whilst a failure is nothing new to the new generation of Dutch footballers, not many experts could have predicted Italy falling to Sweden in the play-offs.
Nevertheless, it will definitely be interesting to see which of two vulnerable heavyweights will come on top this time out. A win here might not mean the world for either Roberto Mancini or Ronald Koeman, but it would definitely have a huge impact on teams’ confidence ahead of the challenges in the upcoming UEFA Nations league and eventually EURO 2020 qualifiers.
Azzurri were unlucky to be drawn in the same qualifying group as Spain which kind of doomed them to the second place finish in the campaign. They were massive favourites to go past Sweden in the play-offs, but Giampaolo Ventura just could not unlock the stern Scandinavian defense as Italy failed to find the back of the net over two legs.
It’s thus time for the brand new start for the Italians who have just recently appointed the former Manchester City head coach Roberto Mancini. His first decision was recalling Mario Balotelli who has been skipped ever since the World Cup in Brazil back in 2014. The controversial striker had a decent campaign in Nice and he justified the recall immediately bagging the opener on Monday evening when Italy dispatched the Asian World Cup contestant Saudi Arabia 2-1 on the home soil. Insigne and Politano also started in the final third, but Italy struggled to create more against the modest opposition. It will be very interesting to see how they will react against a much tougher rival in the likes of Netherlands.
Oranje have now gone six years without a major international finals appearance. It’s quite a significant amount of time for a side with such football pedigree. As a result of another disappointing qualifying campaign, Ronald Koeman has been appointed as the new head coach of the national team.
The former Everton boss can be proud of the showing his troops produced in the March friendly against the European champions Portugal. Oranje destroyed Cristiano Ronaldo & company 0-3 in Geneva with goals from Memphis Depay, Ryan Babel and Virgil van Dijk.
The Dutch side is nowhere as talented as their previous generations have been, but they still have quality all over the pitch. Memphis Depay enjoyed an amazing second part of the season with Lyon in Ligue 1 and stopping him will be the biggest test for the Italian defense here.
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Head to Head and Stats
Italy have been the dominant force in the history of head to head encounters with Netherlands. Azzurri won 10, drew 7 and lost only 3 of 20 encounters against Oranje. The previous meeting happened in March last year when Eder Martins and Leonardo Bonucci cancelled Romagnoli’s early own goal to grant Azzurri a 1-2 victory at Amsterdam ArenA.
Interestingly, Oranje scored just one goal in last six games on the Italian soil. Overall, just one of last four H2H ties saw three or more goals. Netherlands are winless in last four clashes against Italy and they have never defeated Azzurri away from home.
Our Tips and Predictions
We can expect to see quite a competitive affair here as neither of two managers will want to afford a defeat in such an important (confidence-wise) friendly. Netherlands have been very tough to break down under Koeman with Liverpool’s star center-back Virgil Van Dijk leading the defensive line. Since Italy did struggle to create up front lately, we can hardly imagine a high-scoring contest. Under 2.5 goals FT truly appears to be the best of the betting tips also knowing that just one of last four head to head outings between these two rivals brought three or more goals. Such bet is paid at the 1.65 (13/20) odds with most betting sites in Nigeria.
Alternatively, we will back the Italians to keep their net untouched and maintain the fine tradition in H2H clashes with Oranje on the home soil. The hosts are 2.75 (7/4) to keep a clean sheet here.