Italy v Republic of Ireland Prediction

By on May 30, 2014

Craven Cottage in London will host the international friendly between giants Italy and Martin O’Neill’s Republic of Ireland side as Cesare Prandelli’s men look to gain some momentum ahead of the World Cup in Brazil next month.

Italy have a very tough group in next month’s World Cup in Brazil and coach Cesare Prandelli will feel that every bit of momentum, going into the final tournament is necessary if they are to imprint their mark on the event. They have been tied together with England, Uruguay and Costa Rica and it is evident that they may have to put up a serious fight against England & Uruguay to progress to the next round. In that regard, it is very important for the Azzuri to go charging into the tournament with full momentum. That is the purpose of these pre tournament friendlies and Prandelli will take full advantage of the opportunities to test out his squad and figure out his strongest starting XI. The coach still has not finalized his 23 man squad and only the 30 man preliminary squad has been announced as of yet. The Azzuri’s chief of Medical Staff claims that all 30 of the members of the preliminary squad are fit and healthy and Prandelli will be pleased with the idea that he doesn’t have to make any final minute changes.

Cesare Prandelli signed a contract extension with Italy this past Monday and the new contract will keep him at the helm beyond the Euro 2016 Championship and the Azzuri could see their rise from this World Cup onward as a lot of the youngsters are coming throught the system and hitting top form and if not this World Cup, they will be a force to be reckoned with come the next European Championship.

Italy have not performed very well in their previous International games having won none of their last five. Those games include two World Cup qualifiers and three firendlies. However, they have lost only won so that leaves four disappointing draws where the Azzuri scored in each game but failed to win. Their last firendly was against Spain which they lost 1-0

Republic of Ireland failed to qualify for this year’s World Cup and Martin O’Neill and his men will watch the event in Brazil from their homes. However, this is not a useless friendly for them by any means. International games are rare and far apart and thus the manager must make use of every opportunity to bring their squad together and test them out. Same is the case with O’Neill as he will look to figure out the formation and the players that best suit his footballing ideas. They might not be part of the World Cup but their is the prospect of qualifying for the 2016 European Championships. The qualification round for Euro 2016 will  start in September and these international friendlies ahead of those games will be key in gaining momentum and to  get some chemistry between the players.

Republic of Ireland have not been doing very well in their recent international friendlies as they have not won any of their last three. They did win both of their final two World Cup qualification games but they were not enough to secure their place in Brazil. Their last friendly game was against Turkey just six days ago where, althotugh they scored a late goal through Walters, failed to get anything from the game. Martin O’Neill will hope that his side can produce a better performance in this game.

Italy might have to make do without Giuseppe Rossi for this game. The former Villarreal man picked up an injury in the 2nd hald of the season and was expected to miss out on the World Cup. However, he has recovered in time and will be available for the final tournament. Prandelli might hand him a a start if he is given the gree light. Barzagli and Mario Balotelli are recovering from their injuries and but won’t feature in this friendly.

Ireland coach Martin O’Neill could hand Jonathan Walters, who started the last game on the bench, a starting role. Stephen Quinn, David Forde and Kevin Doyle are expected to start this one as well.

DATE: May 31, 2014

TIME: 7:45 PM BST

VENUE: Craven Cottage, London

REFEREE: M. Oliver

PROBABLE LINE-UPS:
Italy (4-3-1-2):- Sirigu; Sciglio, Paletta, Bonucci, Darmian; Montolivo, Veratti, Motta; Marchisio; Rossi, Immobile
Republic of Ireland (4-4-1-1):- Forde; Ward, Delaney, O’Shea, Coleman; Quinn, Whelan, Wilson, Walters; Doyle; Long

LAST MEETING: June 18, 2012 | Euro 2012 | Italy 2-0 Republic of Ireland

RECENT FORM:
Italy:- L D D D D
Republic of Ireland:- L L D W W

AUTHOR’s PREDICTION: Italy 3-1 Republic of Ireland

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