Italy vs Netherlands 09/07/2014 Free International Soccer Preview
Netherlands vs Italy
Thursday 4th September 2014
The Line: Italy Draw Netherlands See the Latest Odds
TV: setanta sports; rai international
What should be a new beginning for the Italians under former Juventus coach Antonio Conte who led Juventus to a hat trick of titles before quitting in July. Italy will have some experience in the form of Pirlo, De Rossi, Buffon, Cassano and Motta but will be looking to new guns Cerci, Immobile, Verrati and Balotelli to finally deliver on their potential. This is a nice squad with a good balance of players and it will be interesting to see how Conte does managing them. Conte was very successful with Juventus but success in Europe did elude him. Can Italy move on from a disastrous World Cup where they made yet another Group Exit?
The Netherlands had a terrific World Cup finishing third and only being eliminated on penalties against Argentina in the semi final in a game that they should have won over the 120 minutes. Robin Van Persie is named in the squad but may not play due to soreness in his knee. Robben is absent through injury but more or less the same squad of players is available to Gus Hiddink as the squad that went to the World Cup. Daley Blind announced himself to the international scene at the World Cup and earned a big money move to Manchester United where he will link up with former Netherlands coach Louis Van Gaal, he should be one of the key attacking players along with Afellay on the other wing. Although it will be interesting to see how Hiddink tinkers with the Van Gaal tactics to suit his own agenda.
This should be an entertaining game and while I am not big on betting on International friendlies I am going to take both teams to score here as I see this as being more of an exhibition with both managers sure to empty their benches to have a look at potential first teamers. This generally leads to more open games and more goals. Follow me on twitter @antonpippo