Our match prediction:
Having survived Belgium in Wednesday’s friendly, Finland will be looking to claim yet another major scalp when they take on Italy at Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi. The Finns played out a 1-1 draw with the Red Devils in Brussels, but it has to be noted that Eden Hazard and Co. had 33 shots on goal during the match. The Azzurri, on the other hand, head into the match following a 1-0 win over Scotland and they will certainly take Monday’s football match very seriously as they will play their final warm-up game against Finland. Antonio Conte’s men were impressive at the back in the victory over Gordon Strachan’s team and we predict that the hosts are going to rely on their rock-solid defence in Monday’s friendly. Taking everything into account, Italy should record a hard-fought win over Scotland. When the two teams faced each other in a friendly in 2004 Italy defeated Scotland 1-0.
Highligted Player (De Sciglio):
Mattia De Sciglio is an Italian international defender who has spent his entire career up to date at boyhood club AC Milan, and while he is widely regarded as one of world’s most talented defenders, the reality is he has yet to realise his full potential. The skilful defender is equally successful at operating on the right or left side of defence, but it is this versatility that probably prevented him from impressing in a single position. De Sciglio has amassed quite a few appearances for both AC Milan and Italy national team, albeit without ever becoming an undisputed member of either side, and the Italian public is still waiting for him to justify all the hype. De Sciglio quickly earned more than 20 caps, representing Azzurri at the 2013 Confederations Cup and 2014 World Cup finals, but he lost his place in the side in the build up to the Euro 2016 tournament in France, and will have to raise his form if he wants to win it back any time soon.
Highlighted Team (Italy):
With four World Cup titles and one European Championship trophy, Italy remain one of world’s most successful teams and they have also finished as runners up at major tournaments on four occasions. The Azzurri have become famous for their result oriented football over the years which is perfectly suited for World Cup and Euro finals, so it is now a surprise when they fail to reach the final stages. After winning the second and third edition of the World Cup, Italy endured a difficult period until lifting their first European Championship title in 1968, while they also managed to show some improvement at the turn of the century. While winning the 2006 World Cup in Germany, the Azzurri reached Euro finals in 2000 and 2012, and they are still regarded as one of the leading sides in Europe. There have been too many high-profile players leaving their mark on the national team to count, but the likes of Paolo Maldini, Gianluigi Buffon, Fabio Cannavaro, Dino Zoff, Roberto Baggio, Luigi Riva and Alessandro Del Piero will go down as some of the most successful ones.