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Italy Paraguay Betting – Italian Title Defense In Trouble Early Against Paraguay

Posted by Todd Shale on 6/8/2010 3:25:00 PM

Online betting players will be preparing to watch Italy begin their title defense when they open up their slate against Paraguay, and there are lots of questions for the Italians. Who will score? Are they too old? A couple of those questions will be answered in a negative fashion.

  • What: World Cup Betting
  • When: Monday, June 14, 2:30 PM ET
  • Where: Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town
  • Key Stats: Italy has won both of their head-to-head meetings with Paraguay, most recently in 1998
italy paraguay betting

The Storyline

The defending World Cup champions are aiming to kick off their back-to-back quest (which would be the second of their history) on a high note, but they followed a disappointing 2-1 loss to Mexico in a friendly with a 1-1 draw against Switzerland. Paraguay came through in their last preparation game, beating Greece 2-0, and they’re not just trying to get through to the next round: Paraguay has their sights set on winning Group F.

Who Has The Edge On Offense: Italy Paraguay Betting

The Italians are no offensive juggernaut, and Alberto Gilardino will be their main target man after leading them in goals during qualification. Daniele De Rossi can push forward from midfield, while Andrea Pirlo is still a threat from dead-ball situations. The omission of Giuseppe Rossi from the squad was a real head-scratcher by manager Marcello Lippi as he would have added much-needed speed to the side.

Even though striker Salvador Cabanas was left at home thanks to his injuries from a shooting, Paraguay still have a few attacking options like Nelson Valdez and Roque Santa Cruz, who failed to break through at Manchester City. Cristian Riveros will also be counted on to score from midfield.

Edge: Draw

Who Has The Edge In Defense: Italy Paraguay Betting

If there is one thing the Italians are known for, it’s their defensive strengths. But like the rest of the team, it’s aging. Captain Fabio Cannavaro is now 36, and fullback Gianluca Zambrotta is 33. Gennaro Gattuso is 32 and took a step back with AC Milan this season, so we’re anxious to see how the Italians deal with a team with pace. Keeper Gianluigi Buffon is still one of the best men to have between the sticks, though.

The Paraguayan defense is more solid than they’re given credit for, and they’re led by Paulo da Silva, who made the move to England to play for Sunderland last year. Keeper Justo Villar moved to Spain two years ago and has gotten some good experience in arguably the best club league in the world.

Edge: Italy

Notable Injuries – Italy Paraguay Betting

The injury to Cabanas (head) was a very tough pill to swallow for him and the entire Paraguayan team as it robbed them of their top scorer.

Edge: Italy

Totals – Italy Paraguay Betting

It’s Italy, so rarely is it going to be an open match. If they score within the first 20 minutes, don’t expect much for the next 70.

Pick: Under 2

Italy Paraguay Betting Prediction & Outlook

The Italians are -115 favorites in this contest, while the Paraguayans are listed at +340, and a draw is rated at +225. Many are giving the nod to the Italians because of their experience, but they haven’t looked sharp at all in the run-in to the World Cup, while Paraguay has played a couple of tough opponents to a standstill. We think the Italians have lost a step, and while they’ll get through to the next round, it’ll begin with a sports betting upset loss to the scrappy Paraguayans.

Bet World Cup: Paraguay +340



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