Netherlands v Italy Match Preview and Betting Tips
March 24, 2017
Tuesday 28 March – Amsterdam ArenA – Friendly
The Netherlands host Italy in a prestigious friendly on Tuesday evening, as two European heavyweights clash at the Amsterdam ArenA. The Azzurri will provide a stern test for Danny Blind’s side, who have a point to prove after missing out on Euro 2016.
Italy have the upper hand when it comes to past meetings between the two countries, having won nine of the 19 meetings, losing only three times. The Netherlands did win the last competitive fixture though, emerging 3-0 winners at Euro 2008.
Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben is expected to start in his role as captain for the Netherlands, while all eyes will be on Liverpool’s Georginio Wijnaldum to see if he can continue his fine Premier League form. Danny Blind has criticised Memphis Depay in the past, but the forward’s impressed since moving to Lyon from Manchester United and could be given a chance.
Italy boss Gian Piero Ventura picked eight forwards in his latest squad, but unfortunately Southampton striker Manolo Gabbiadini was forced to pull out after picking up a groin strain against Tottenham. The Premier League is still represented through Manchester United’s Matteo Darmian though, who will be looking to stake a claim in Ventura’s starting XI.
Netherlands v Italy Preview and Predictions
It’s been a tough time for the Netherlands recently, and it hurt the proud footballing nation to watch Euro 2016 from afar. The Oranje haven’t exactly been dealt a favourable draw when it comes to qualifying for the next showpiece, with France and Sweden providing the competition for reaching the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Danny Blind has a job on his hands to restore pride and belief into his team, especially after losing 1-0 at home to the French in the early stages of World Cup qualifying. There isn’t much experience for him to draw on, and the youthful look of the Dutch squad helps to put the home team as underdogs in this game at 17/10.
New Italy manager Ventura has started well after replacing Antonio Conte following Euro 2016. After losing a friendly in his opening game against France, the Azzurri have gone on to win three of their four opening games in qualifying for Russia 2018, drawing the other against Spain. This run makes them favourites in Amsterdam at 8/5, while odds of 5/2 are available for the draw.
A winning margin of one goal at 5/4
This game is likely to be a tight affair, and it’s doubtful that either side will run away with a huge win.
Italy to keep a clean sheet at 2/1
The Azzurri have quality in goal whether it’s the experience of Gianluigi Buffon with his 1,000 career appearances or the youthful promise of Gianluigi Donnarumma.