Portugal v Italy Betting Preview, Odds & Tips | 10th September
Benjamin Swain (@Swaaainn) previews Portugal v Italy and provides us with his best bets for this Uefa Nations League Group A match, by analysing team news, potential line-ups, head-to-head, key stats and facts and more.
Portugal v Italy Betting Preview, Odds & Tips
- Date: 10/09/18
- Time: 7:45pm
- Venue: Estadio da Luz
- Channel: Sky Sports
Italy return to competitive international competition as they travel to face current European Cup Champions Portugal.
All time Portugal leading goal-scorer, Cristiano Ronaldo has been left out of the squad. The forward scored four of Portugal’s six goals at the World Cup but was replaced by Renato Sanchez in the squad to face Croatia in a friendly as well as this fixture.
Pepe’s late goal against Croatia salvaged a draw and continued a run of 4 fixtures, involving the Portuguese, resulting with under2.5 goals. Infact, during both the European Championships in 2016, as well as the World Cup in 2018, Portugal have only been involved in three matches seeing over 2.5 goals, despite winning the former.
The European champions beat France 1-0 in the final, having seen off Wales off 2-0, following a penalty shoot-out victory over Poland after the game finished 1-1 after extra-time. Despite a disappointing performance in the world cup, being knocked out at the last 16 stage against eventual winners France, this still eclipsed Italy’s performance by some margin.
Italy failed to qualify for their first world cup competition for 60 years, unable to score a single goal in 180 minutes against Sweden in the qualifiers. This tournament does hold the potential for the Azzuri to get back on track, however, with fresh approaches throughout the side.
Roberto Mancini was hired by Italy following their failure to qualify for the world cup and immediately placed Mario Balotelli back into the fold, but it remained a familiar story.
The OG Nice striker scored 26 goals in all competitions last season but failed to find the net on his return.
League C started with a 1-1 draw between Poland and Italy with Chelsea’s Jorginho salvaging a late point for Italy, helping them crucially not drop points against their rivals.
Italy will only get a second chance at qualifying for the Euro’s, should they fail in their qualification group, should they rank as one of the four highest teams in Group A not to do so, meaning finishing above Poland could be crucial.
The initiative will be in Italy’s hands to avoid defeat here and fall behind Poland on goal difference.
Portugal: Cristiano Ronaldo has not been selected in the squad for Portugal’s two games.
Italy: Mario Balotelli returned to international duty, under new manager Roberto Mancini, in Italy’s opener against Poland.
Potential Portugal starting XI: Patricio, Cancelo, Pepe, Dias, Rui, Neves, William, Pizzi, B. Silva, Gelson, A. Silva
Potential Italy starting XI: Donnarumma, Zappacosta, Bonucci, Chiellini, Biraghi, Gagliardini, Jorginho, Bonaventura, Bernardeschi, Balotelli, Insigne
Head To Head
- Portugal have won just five times in 24 matches against Italy.
Key Stats & Facts:
- Italy drew 1-1 in the opener and need a victory to stand a chance of topping the group.
- Portugal have recorded over 2.5 goals in just two competitive international fixtures throughout both the 2016 European championships and the 2018 world cup (11 matches).
- Portugal 13/10
- Draw 9/4
Without Ronaldo in the ranks, there’s not been much threat in front of goal from either side, looking at recent form.