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Thursday, June 24, 2010

SLOVAKIA vs ITALY >>> Match Preview

DEFENDING CHAMPIONS NEED TO IMPROVE The world champions come into a must-win game in poor form. Italy have drawn against Paraguay and New Zealand already at this World Cup and their last three matches in the tournament (including the 2006 final) has seen them concede first before drawing 1-1. In-fighting has seen coach Marcello Lippi criticised by some of his players for his tactics. Claudio Marchisio, the most vocal, has grown tired of what he calls ''experiments'' in the formation, but Lippi has maintained that the team spirit is intact. We shall see.
But they come up against a Slovakia side that have only managed three shots on target after their first two games. With star midfielder Marek Hamsik failing to fire, Slovakia have not impressed, but it is a measure of the competition thus far that if they manage to beat the Italians (and Paraguay beat New Zealand) they would qualify.
The only previous encounter between these two sides was a 3-0 win for Italy in 1998, but with Group F the group of draws, one wonders if Italy have enough to see themselves safely through.

Slovakia player to watch: Martin Skrtel

The Liverpool defender was an injury doubt before the tournament, but he has come to the fore and shown some commanding performances in the heart of Slovakia's defence. Strong and as committed as any player in South Africa, Skrtel's physicality has stopped the minnows being rolled over and he will have to be at his best again to keep Italy off the scoresheet.

Italy player to watch: Daniele De Rossi

The Roma star is highly rated by his team-mates and is seen as one of the best midfielders in the world. Combative, tough and aggressive, he has said that Italy must put in a much better performance than they have thus far, saying: ''We'll have to improve quickly, because otherwise we won't be going far." How he manages to distribute the ball in the centre will play a large part in Italy's hopes of success.

Key Battle: Jan Mucha v Vincenzo Iaquinta

If Slovakia follow their pattern of play, then a lot of the game could be played in their own half. Italy have strikers who are the subject of interest in every transfer window, but they have not lit up the World Cup thus far. Mucha has shown glimpses of his talent in between the sticks, while Iaquinta has struggled in front of goal and only managed to net from the spot against New Zealand.

A 1-1 draw seems likely given the poor form of both teams, but one feels Italy have to turn it around eventually and now may be that time.




Take ITALY give 1 goal >>> SLOVAKIA (Main Bet)


(No Bets)

Odds Centre >>> www.asianbookie.com

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