Italy v Poland Betting Preview, Odds & Tips | 7th September
Sam Langston (@Samlan98) previews Italy v Poland and provides us with his best bets for Friday night’s Nations League clash by analysing team news, potential line-ups, head-to-head, key stats and facts and more.
Italy v Poland Betting Preview, Odds & Tips
- Date: 07/09/2018
- Time: 19:45
- Venue: Stadio Renato Dall'Ara
- Channel: Sky Sports
Italy and Poland face off in their opening Nations League match, both hoping to improve under the guidance of new coaches.
Roberto Mancini is Gian Piero Ventura’s replacement as Azzurri boss, whilst Jerzy Brzęczek has left Ekstraklasa club Wisła Płock to take up the role as head coach of The Eagles.
Following Italy’s failure to qualify for the World Cup in Russia, pragmatic tactician Mancini has been appointed on a one-and-a-half deal.
The former Manchester City gaffer adopts a safety first style, with a primary aim to shut out the opposition. This cautious approach drew criticism throughout his time in England, however it should suit the Italians who typically build from the back, so this appears a good fit for the national side moving forward.
Friday’s visitors are also entering a transitional period, after a disappointing World Cup which saw them exit in the group stage. The Poles were outplayed in defeats to Colombia and Senegal and finished bottom of Group H, resulting in Adam Nawałka’s resignation.
As mentioned, Jerzy Brzęczek has been tasked with restoring the player-fan connection, but if history is anything to go by, achieving instant success will be difficult. Previously, just two of sixteen Poland coaches have been victorious on their debuts, the last being Janusz Wójcik, 21 years ago. Recently, The Eagles have also struggled against superiorly ranked nations, winning only once from 11 versus sides placed higher in the ELO Ratings.
Clearly, historical trends are against Jerzy Brzęczek and his troops, who will find it tough to beat Mancini’s men on their own patch. The Azzurri boast an outstanding home record, losing just one of 17 tussles since the start of 2015. Within the same period, they have triumphed in six of nine competitive fixtures, each of these nine producing no more than three conversions. With this in mind, the 6/5 on an Italy win featuring under 3.5 goals appears an excellent play at an odds-against price.
Roberto Mancini wants to develop the Azzurri’s next generation by integrating young talents into the national team set-up. His latest squad includes a trio of newbies, most notably Roma’s Nicolò Zaniolo, who is yet to make a Serie A appearance. First call-ups have also been earned by Cagliari playmaker Nicolò Barella and 17-year-old forward Pietro Pellegri. Marco Verratti will miss both upcoming fixtures through injury.
Kamil Grosicki has been excluded from Poland’s squad. Jerzy Brzęczek has justified the decision, citing club difficulties as the reason for his omission.
Potential Italy Starting XI: Sirigu, Criscito, Rugani, Bonucci, Zappacosta, Jorginho, Bonaventura, Pellegrini, Bernardeschi, Insigne, Immobile.
Potential Poland Starting XI: Szczęsny, Rybus, Bednarek, Glik, Bereszyński, Krychowiak, Linetty, Klich, Zieliński, Błaszczykowski, Lewandowski.
Head To Head
- The most recent meeting between the sides was a friendly in 2011. Mario Balotelli and Giampaolo Pazzini scored to earn a 2-0 victory for the Italians on away soil.
Key Stats & Facts
- Against nations who rank inferiorly in the ELO Ratings, Italy’s record over the last three years reads: P22, W16, D4, L2.
- Roberto Mancini has overseen three international friendlies thus far, winning, drawing, and losing one a-piece.
- Ciro Immobile has scored 45 times in his last 57 games for club and country, averaging a goal every 114 minutes. In places, the Lazio ace is odds-on to bag at least once, yet an anytime scorer quote is 7/4 with 888Sport. Given the price differential, this may be a discrepancy worth exploiting.
- Since the beginning of 2015, Poland have only defeated three teams on away soil, when excluding victories in major tournaments and friendlies. These wins came in Armenia, Montenegro, and Romania.
- Mateusz Klich has netted on three occasions in six Championship appearances this term. The in-form Leeds midfielder could be handed a start in Bologna and is a generous 8/1 with 888Sport to grab a goal anytime.
- Italy – 4/5
- Draw – 5/2
- Poland – 5/1
With eight members of the Poland squad playing their trade in Serie A, the visitors will be accustomed to the Azzurri’s key players. However, home advantage is key in international football, an ideal which is emphasized by Italy’s superb record on their own turf. When considering this alongside Poland’s recent history against the top nations, backing a home win at the current price is justified. Assuming Roberto Mancini employs his typically cautious approach, this also makes for an affair which is potentially tight and cagey. When the Italians have hosted, 10 of their last 11 competitive fixtures have seen less than four goals, and with the conservative Mancini in charge, this trend is set to continue.