Soccer Picks: Italy vs. Uruguay Confederations Cup Preview

Nila Amerova

Friday, June 28, 2013 7:30 PM GMT

Friday, Jun. 28, 2013 7:30 PM GMT

Team Italy and Team Uruguay will battle it out for the third place spot in the FIFA Confederations Cup. Let's look at the betting odds and take a punt.

Here is a breakdown of this intriguing matchup between the two unfortunate losers in the semi-finals and deliver our best soccer picks for your consideration.

What may seem as a meaningless match in the broad spectrum of the competition on the other hand holds special meaning in the context of the upcoming World Cup 2014 and, one might add, offers up meaningful angles for profit.

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Does Italy have any fight left?

Italy have fought hard throughout the competition. Against Mexico and Japan they earned their just reward while against Brazil and Spain they weren’t so fortunate, losing 4-2 to Brazil and then 7-6 to Spain on penalties. The sum of it all, Cesare Prandelli’s men are comprehensively banged up and exhausted, what has resulted in a market stance against them in their final appearance at the FIFA Confederations Cup. Odds makers send Italy into the battle for a third-place finish as the +175 underdogs.

Italy really took it to Spain in the semi-finals, particularly in the first half, but they failed to deliver the knockout blow, something that has plagued them for some time now and that they’d hope to work on in Brazil. Except without Mario Balotelli, their greatest goal threat to polish off chances and when facing only the best team in the world, dealing the knockout blow was always going to be a tall order.

Now the question remains whether Italy have any fight left in them? Certainly, based purely on their performance in the competition they do deserve to leave with a third-place finish. And strictly speaking, when comparing their account to that of Uruguay’s in the competition, their account is decidedly better. But it’s not about who deserves it most but who wants it more and plays to win it.

Italy is at the slight disadvantage having played on Thursday, a day after Uruguay faced the hosts, and having played in equatorial Fortaleza where the heat and humidity was all too evident and finally took its toll on them in the penalty shootout. Nonetheless, Italy has shown bounceback-ability; following their 4-2 defeat to Brazil they did come out of the blocks racing against Spain contrary to expectation and although they did leave as the losers that attitude, if they bring it to this last match, bodes rather well.

Uruguay haven’t impressed

High expectations preceded Uruguay into this competition and while they did prove competitive against Brazil, depositing their best performance of the tournament, their group effort did leave something to be desired and that doesn’t augur well. Yet odds makers send them into their final FIFA Confederations Cup appearance as the marginal favourites at +150 soccer betting odds.

That market stance is probably down to the perceived advantages that Uruguay have going into this match – a) that they have an additional day’s rest compared to Italy and b) that they weren’t forced to expend as much energy as Italy were throughout this competition and especially in the semi-finals.

Clearly Uruguay will have the fresher legs in this clash but they have been far from impressive in this tournament, scoring just a goal against Brazil and Spain, respectively.

Soccer Betting Verdict

On the merit of Italy’s performances in Confederations Cup, they are the better team and should win this game to clinch third place. It remains to be seen however whether they have any gas in the tank left but as far as fight back goes they’ve had it all throughout and it should be no different here. So at +175 they are our pick and the more attractive option. Bookies favour the Over 2.5 result and for good reason – it’s been the winning play in all Uruguay’s matches and in three of Italy’s four matches as well. So that appears to be the smart pick as well.

Soccer Free Picks: Italy to win, Over 2.5 at Ladbrokes

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