The last time these two teams played in a competitive match, Italy dominated the game and England gave a very dogged display to eventually go out on penalties. On that day the gulf in technical and tactical class between the two teams was not reflected in the scoreline. So how have the two teams come on since they last met?
Roy Hodgson has done a decent job with the English team. He’s started to bring in some younger players while still having a trust for the more reliable old heads around the squad. However, the fact that John Terry has come off the back of such a strong season for Chelsea individually yet won’t turn out for England could be a problem. Although it offers the chance for potentially the likes of Everton prospect John Stones to get World Cup experience, England don’t have a great defence for a team which relies on defending so heavily.
When they come up against top teams, Hodgson’s first intent is to try and contain and break in a more rigid fashion than other teams. However, his squad has improved in terms of energy and technical quality since the Euros with the likes of Jordan Henderson and Raheem Sterling both enjoying excellent campaigns along with Ross Barkley. The two teenagers and the forever improving Henderson could be key for England. At odds of 2/1 to win the match, it’s quite tempting to hope that Hodgson can use the energy and pace of his young stars to counter effectively on an Italian team who should dominate the match.
Italy are always one of the teams spoken about to be in contention for the title itself, but his year not so much. With a 6/4 chance on winning the match, though, they could be worth examining more.
The majority of the Juventus-based players for Italy have had tremendous campaigns, and this could carry on throughout a side with talent throughout. The likes of Lorenzo Insigne and Mario Balotelli are obvious ones to watch up-front, while the rest of the side are all proven, quality footballers.
Our bet would be that on the day the Italians prove to be the better bet due to the higher levels of quality technically. In the much spoken about heat of Manaus, it’s going to come down to somebody having the technical smarts to pull something dazzling off. We think that there’s a good chance based on 2 teams tactics for Draw in First Half @1.90 bet365