Italy vs. China
|Date & Time||Tuesday June 25, 2019, 12:00 PM (EDT)|
Stade de la Mosson
The Line: China +331 / Italy +102 / Draw +210 -- Over/Under: 2
Italy and China meet Tuesday in FIFA Women's World Cup at Stade de la Mosson.
Italy made it to the knockout rounds after beating Jamaica and Australia, and Le Azzurre has a chance to make it to the quarterfinals of the World Cup for the first time since 1991. Italy has lost the ball possession percentage twice in three matches, but the offense has flashed its potential with Barbara Bonansea, Cristiana Girelli and Aurora Galli combining for all seven goals and taking over individual matches. Italy has produced 13 shots on goal this tournament and has scored two or more goals in 10 of its last 12 matches overall. There may not be a ton of international experience on this squad, but there’s playmakers who can get free and the chemistry is high with most of these players suiting up for Juventus, Fiorentina or Milan. This team understands each other well.
China advanced by beating South Africa and forcing a draw against Spain, and this side now hopes to make the quarterfinals of the World Cup for the sixth time. There’s no surprises with China, as this is a well disciplined team that’s more than willing to allow the opponent to control the ball, as the focus is on physicality and defense. In its most recent match against Spain, China attempted just one shot, and it has a combined four shots on goal this entire tournament. China has been held to one or less goals in nine of its last 10 matches overall. Even with playmaking potential in Wang Shanshan, Li Ying and Yang Li, China has an identity and sticks to it, and that’s to grind out the opponent and look for that one mistake that may change the outcome.
The last time these teams played were two friendly matches in December of 2015, which China won 2-0 and forced a 1-1 draw. Italy is 3-2-2 against China all-time.
Things can get a little tight during these knockout stages and unless the gap in talent is completely wide, you often see teams play safe and take a not to lose approach. China has shown time and time again that it’s going to play conservative and focus heavily on defense, often resulting in painfully low scores. This has the feel of a match that could be decided on penalty kicks.
I’m siding with the under.