Our prediction for this World Cup 2018 match:
As expected, Liechtenstein have been struggling in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers. The Minnows kicked off their qualifying campaign with a heavy 8-0 loss to Spain and they head into Saturday’s football match against Italy following back-to-back defeats to the likes of Albania and Israel. The lack of confidence seems to be the team’s biggest problem at the moment and that is the main reason why we are not tempted to put our money on the underdogs this time out. The Azzurri aim to get their job done in Group G as soon as possible and the visitors are likely to adopt an attack-minded approach against Liechtenstein. Italy scored a late winner against Macedonia in their last qualifying match, but we predict that Giampiero Ventura’s men will record a routine win over Rene Pauritsch’s team on Saturday evening. You should bear in mind that the two teams have never met before in a competitive match.
Highlighted Player (Gianluigi Buffon):
Gianluigi Buffon is a legendary Italian goalkeeper. The 191-cm-tall shoot-stopper was born in Carrara, Italy on 28 January, 1978 and he began his senior career at Parma. After making 169 league appearances for the Gli Emiliani, he joined Juventus in 2001 and he has been playing for the “Old Lady” ever since.
Buffon is regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in the history of football and he won seven Serie A trophies with Juve. In 2006 he helped Italy clinch the FIFA World Cup trophy as they defeated France on penalties in the title game. He managed to keep no less than five clean sheets at the showpiece tournament in Germany.
Buffon set a number of records and it has to be noted that he is a goalkeeper with most number of clean sheets and penalty kicks saved in the Serie A. His mother Mara Stella was a discus thrower, while his father Adriano was a weightlifter. Gigi’s contract with Juve expires on 30 June, 2018.
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.