Italy vs Saudi Arabia
Date: Monday, 28 May 2018
Kick-Off at 19:45 UK / 20:45 CET
Venue: Kybunpark (St. Gallen).
Saudi Arabia start their final round of preparation for the FIFA World Cup with a friendly against a new look Italian side on Monday. They will play Peru and Germany before taking the flight to the global tournament in summer.
The Green Falcons are grouped together with hosts Russia and South American heavy weights Uruguay in Group A and they are the lowest ranked team in the group that also includes Mohammed Salah’s Egypt. The team managed by Argentine coach Juan Antonio Pizzi bagged some momentum by beating fringe sides of Greece and Algeria by the same 2-0 score-line in un-official friendlies. However, they were win-less in the three friendlies they played in the month of March, suffering heavy 4-0 defeats against both Belgium and Ukraine.
Italy’s football team is going through a transition after failing to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1958. This started with the appointment of Roberto Mancini as national team’s head coach and a flock of new players roped in to fill in the void left after the retirement of Daniele De Rossi, Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli.
Mario Balotelli earned a call back to the national team after a wonderful season in the Ligue 1 with Nice. The former Manchester City and Liverpool striker scored 26 goals from 38 appearances in all competitions this season, could be the answer to Italy’s woes in front of goal.
The Azzurri is on a dry spell at the moment, having failed to win their two friendlies in March. However, it was against strong and settled sides like England (1-1 draw) and Argentina (0-2 loss).
Italy vs Saudi Arabia: Head-to-head
These two are playing for the first time in an official friendly match.
Italy vs Saudi Arabia Predictions
Italy have a quality side with most of the players playing their trade in the Serie A. However, they are still inexperienced at the international level and the high number of new players need some time to gel into Mancini’s playing system. Therefore, they cannot be considered as a strong team.
Saudi have started their preparations for the World Cup earlier this month and are coming on back-to-back wins. Yet, they still have to address the problems in the defense, which is nothing but vulnerable while coming up against better attacking units.
Italy vs Saudi Arabia Betting Tips
- Both teams to Score @ 3.25 odd.
- Over 1.5 first half goals @ 2.63 odd.