The Italian football team is a product of the Italian football league. they are not very good anymore. They have some obvious class because they always will but previously they would have a Totti supporting an Insaghi they now have a Balotelli supporting himself.
They Dont have a bad spine they have one of the best Goalkeepers to play the game in Buffon and at 36 he still has a bit left in the tank. They have Chiellini and Barzagli at centre backs and the option of going 3 at the back with Bonucci they play together all the time and are pretty solid. They have Pirlo and De Rossi in Centre Midfield with Montolivo there as well and then Balotelli up front with people who never really did it at international level Cassano and Rossi. At full back they look weak. I like the looks of De Sciglio of Milan who is a young fullback but he is that. He hasnt established himself and could be exposed. At winger they look worse i think they will play wing backs because they don’t have any wide midfielders.
If Balotelli doesn’t score i don’t see them scoring. I don’t see them letting in a lot but scoring could be set pieces and thats fine if your West Ham but to be Real Madrid you need more than that. Only 3 of this squad played outside of Serie A this year and they all played for PSG (Motta, Verratti and Sirigu) who may not even play. I don’t see Italy getting far at all.
The group is England, Uruguay and Costa Rica. They play England First the Costa Rica and then Urugauy. I think they wil draw against England and beat Costa Rica. And i expect England and Uruguay to draw aswell. This means that England would go through with a better win against Costa Rica than Italy or Uruguay who would have already played them. So if that happens i can see the Uruguay v Italy game could be huge for both of them. I believe England will get out of this group but will who will join them im not sure. The other thing Italy have not done well is placement. They base is thousands of miles away from game they play and in the higher altitude areas and the hotter areas. Im not saying Italy is a cold place but Surely Costa Rica and Uruguay will be better suited to the heat. I really see them struggling and i don’t see enough class to get them out of this.
Ive been quite negative about them but some positives. They got to the final of Euro 2012 they played well in that. Balotelli starred and will be their best player again I feel. De Sciglio shows that they can still produce some class with Verratti as well they have some ok young players.
Star man: Mario Balotelli
One to Watch: Daniele De Rossi (has got to turn up at some point for Italy)
Prediction: going to put my neck on the line and say Group Stage 5 points scoring less goals than England and Uraguay who also have 5 points but go through