Italy v Netherlands Preview: Italy to edge tight contest
This match-up has all the makings of a World Cup final.
If we were still in the noughties era.
Italy won the tournament in 2006. Whilst the Oranje have come in second and third place in 2010 and 2014, respectively.
However, returning to 2018 and the two nations are facing each other ahead of a World Cup-less summer for both of them.
Both sides are in the ‘transition’ phase right now. Holland are finding it hard to move on from the old guard.
Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder have retired and they need to fill Robin Van Persie and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar’s boots.
Italy’s failure to secure a spot in Russia was directed at their former manager’s bullishness than anything.
A 1-0 aggregate play-off loss to Sweden would be Coach Gian Piero Ventura’s last game. His reluctance to field the in-form Lorenzo Insigne looked an odd one.
Roberto Mancini was appointed last month in a bid to bring back the glory days.
The Dutch have no injury concerns to worry about.
Ronald Koeman will have in-form Memphis Depay and Quincy Promes available. But he may go with Ryan Babel in this one.
The defence may feature the Ajax youngster Matthijs De Ligt and new Inter Milan signing Stefan De Vrij.
Another candidate is Huddersfield Town’s Terence Kongolo.
Former Manchester City boss Mancini may decide to rest Mario Balotelli after starting the two previous games.
Torino goal-getter Andrea Belotti and former West Ham-loanee Simone Zaza are also in the squad.
Genoa’s goalkeeper Mattia Perin may well get the nod in goal as both Gianluigi Donnarumma and Salvatore Sirigu have already got their 90 minutes.
Memphis Depay really turned up for Lyon at the back end of the season. The 24-year-old notched ten goals in the last nine Ligue 1 games.
All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication