Live on Skysports 1: Tues 19.45: Italy are a good bet at 10/11 with bet365 to get the better of Ireland in the pair’s friendly clash in Belgium.
Ireland racked up a third straight win on Saturday adding a 2-0 qualifying triumph against Macedonia to their two recent Nations Cup victories but their run is set to come to an end as they go head-to-head with boss Giovanni Trapattoni’s home country, Italy, in a friendly encounter.
The Italians have been in decent form since the appointment of Cesare Prandelli as manager last year and their latest outing saw them notch three times without reply against Estonia so like the Irish, they head to the neutral territory of Belgium for the contest, in confident mood.
Both teams will make a number of changes but you have to feel that the depth, in terms of quality, of the Italian squad will mean that they are likely to be better suited to withstanding a fairly significant reshuffle and they are deserved favourites at 10/11 with bet365 to come out on top in Liege.
The pair have been defending well in recent games, keeping three consecutive clean sheets apiece but, assisted by the absence of Ireland’s main threat, Robbie Keane, it’s only the Italians that can keep up that sequence and they’re a tasty 11/5 (Coral) to prevail ‘to nil’ in a clash that is 4/5 at Stan James to produce fewer than 2.5 goals.
Italy to beat Ireland – 10/11 (bet365)