World Cup Soccer Betting: England vs. Italy

World Cup Soccer Betting:  England vs. Italy

It’s the opening weekend of the World Cup and there will be plenty of soccer betting action on tap. Among the most interesting matchups will be a crucial Group D encounter between Italy and England. Both teams have high expectations among their passionate fan bases but in both cases the reality of where the team is at could not match up to the hopes of their fans. Both teams are optimistic that they’ll be able to advance out of Group D but clearly this is a game that neither team can afford to lose.

England is an interesting team–they entered World Cup qualification with little in the way of expectations. The feeling among the faithful was that this was not a particularly competitive England team and that many of the key players were on the downside of their career. That was before some of the younger, more unsung players on the England roster started to develop and make a significant contribution. Now there’s a lot of optimism that England can finish higher than at least one of their two primary Group D challengers (Italy and Uruguay). In theory, Uruguay would be the obvious ‘odd team out’ but Italy’s play during the warm up games for the World Cup wasn’t particularly impressive. That being said, England didn’t exactly tear it up during their warm up games. They had to settle for draws against Ecuador and Honduras in games played in the US which means they’ve only won 1 of their last 7 away from home.

Italy was a profound disappointment during the 2012 World Cup and their play heading up to this year’s tournament hasn’t been inspiring. They were winless in their last 7 games before beating Brazilian league team Fluminense in their final warm up contest. Italy has always been a team known for a tactical defensive approach to games but they may have taken that approach too far–they’ve drawn 6 of their last 8 games.

Given the recent form of both teams and the tendency for teams to play ‘tight’ in their first game a draw is the most likely result. We’ll bet accordingly and look for very little scoring.