Italy v Greece Betting Preview, Odds & Tips | 12/10/10
James Cormack (@jamescormack_) previews Italy v Greece and provides us with his best bets for this Euro 2020 qualifier by analysing team news, potential line-ups, head-to-head, key stats and facts and more.
- 2019 Profit & Loss: +19.05pts
Italy v Greece Betting Preview, Odds & Tips
- Date: 12/10/19
- Time: 19:45
- Venue: Stadio Olimpico
- Channel: Sky Sports Premier League
Roberto Mancini’s Italy side will be looking to wrap up Euro 2020 qualification over the next week, first taking on a struggling Greece side in Rome on Saturday.
Italy are only one of four teams to maintain a 100% record in qualification so far. Last month, we saw Gli Azzurri grind out two impressive away wins; a 2-1 win in Tampere against Finland and a 3-1 win in Armenia.
It’s fair to say that the Italians have rebounded since their failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. They’ve lost just three times since that failure and they haven’t been beaten on home soil since 2016.
Mancini seems to have established a great balance with his Italian side. This team has its youthful edge with Fiorentina’s Federico Chiesa and Inter’s Nicolo Barella establishing themselves as regulars, whilst their defence is still as stout as ever. To go with this, the form of Ciro Immobile and Andrea Belotti in Serie A has carried over to the national side over the past year – when these two are firing, Mancini has the luxury of picking from two world-class #9’s.
This current squad has the potential to be a contender at next year’s Euros, there’s no doubt about that.
Saturday’s opponents, Greece, have struggled throughout qualification, changing their managers in June. The Greeks haven’t won since matchday one and have already been beaten by Armenia and Finland, not to mention they were most recently held at home to the mighty Liechtenstein.
New manager John van’t Schip seemingly has an eye for the future, omitting a few key members from the October squad and replacing them with a couple of less experienced youngsters.
With Euro 2020 pretty much out of the window, Greece will have to look towards qualifying for the 2022 World Cup and van’t Schip looks to be on the right track by with the squad he’s picked for his sides next two fixtures.
New manager John van’t Schip has made a whole host of surprising omissions from his Greece squad. Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Kostas Manolas and Kostas Mitroglou have all been overlooked by the new boss.
Van’t Schip is seemingly looking towards the future with the likes of Pantelis Hatzidiakos, Vasilis Lambropoulos and Panagiotis Retsos all getting call-ups to an inexperienced Greek squad.
The home side will be without Stefano Sensi, who picked up an injury in Inter’s recent 2-1 defeat at the hands of Juve. That means that there’s a place for the exciting Nicolo Zaniolo in the senior squad.
Mancini has a pool of prolific forwards to choose from for their two upcoming fixtures. Lazio’s Ciro Immobile and Torino’s Andrea Belotti have enjoyed fine starts to the Serie A season and both will be trying to lock-down Italy’s number nine spot for the long-term.
Potential Italy Starting XI: Donnarumma; Izzo, Bonucci, Acerbi, Spinazzola; Jorginho, Verratti, Barella; Chiesa, Immobile, Insigne.
Potential Greece Starting XI: Vlachodimos; Bakakis, Retsos, Siovas, Stafylidis; Kourmpelis, Bouchalakis; Fetfatzidis, Vrousai, Pavlidis; Koulouris.
Head To Head
- All-time: Italy-3, Draw-2, Greece-0.
- This is the first time these two have met on Italian soil since 1981. On that occasion, the sides drew 1-1 in a World Cup qualifier; a World Cup the Italians would go onto win.
Key Stats & Facts
- Italy overcame Greece earlier on in qualification – winning 3-0 in Athens back in June.
- The home side are unbeaten in their last ten; they haven’t lost since their 1-0 defeat to Portugal in the Nations League last September.
- Italy, along with England, Belgium and Spain are the only sides with 100% records in qualifying.
- A win on Saturday could see the Italians secure their place at next year’s finals.
- Gli Azzurri haven’t lost on home soil since September 2016 – when they were beaten 3-1 by France in Bari.
- Greece are winless in their last six; their last victory came on matchday one against Liechtenstein.
- Italy 1/5
- Draw 33/5
- Greece 20/1
Omissions of a few senior members from this Greece squad makes them huge underdogs for this tough test in Rome. This Greece defence without Sokratis and Manolas is severely weaker and I expect the potential front-three of Chiesa, Immobile and Lorenzo Insigne to have some joy on Saturday. The Italians should win comfortably here and I’ve got a couple of bets to suit.
The first is for Italy to score 3+ goals. So far in qualifying, Italy have scored three or more on three occasions, with one of those coming against a stronger Greece side. I expect the likes of Barella and Verratti to open up Greece’s weakened backline, unlocking the door for the dangerous trio up top to have some fun. If Liechtenstein can score once against this lot, I expect Mancini’s men to improve on that at least three-fold.
Therefore, I’m confident of taking Gli Azzurri with a -2 handicap on Saturday night. The visitors are the second-lowest scorers in the group, netting just seven in six and they’ll struggle to hit the mark against a very good Italy defence. Three goals conceded in qualification thus far and in last year’s Nations League against Portugal, Ukraine and Poland highlight the strength of this Italian defence.