Argentina National Team Logo

Argentina

V

Etihad Stadium

23/03/2018 | 7:45 pm

Italy National Team logo

Italy

V

Etihad Stadium

23/03/2018 | 7:45 pm

In a sentence: Two of football’s biggest and most successful football nations face off at Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium on Friday – we take a look at Argentina v Italy in this international football preview.

Last time: La Albiceleste recorded a 2-1 victory in Rome’s Olympic Stadium courtesy of goals from Gonzalo Higuain and Ever Banega. Gli Azzurri replied late on through Lorenzo Insigne.

This time: Argentina are 19/20 for the win, while Italy are 3/1 and the draw is 23/10.

You might remember: Italy defeating Argentina during the second round of the 1982 World Cup in Spain. Two second half goals from Marco Tardelli and Antonio Cabrini sealed a 2-1 win for Enzo Bearzot’s team. Italy later went on to win the tournament and their third overall.

Team News

Betting Tips & Predictions

Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium will play host to this glamorous friendly between Argentina and Italy

Argentina start this game as overwhelming favourites and will see the 90 minutes as important preparation time for this summer’s World Cup in Russia. Italy infamously crashed out to Sweden in the World Cup play-offs, meaning they miss out on the showpiece event for the first time in 60 years. With Luigi Di Biagio stepping up from the u21’s to take charge and the Sweden failure fresh in the minds, the Italians may well feel they have a point to prove and will be looking to scupper the international football predictions.

Two-time World Cup winners Argentina are undefeated in their last four games against Italy and with Lionel Messi and co in town, they will be looking to extend that run to five games. Jorge Sampaoli’s side start as 19/20 favourites and an Argentina win will be included in many fans’ football predictions.

Gianluigi Buffon has returned to help steady the Azzurri ship in a period of change. For Italian captain Buffon and his teammates, these upcoming friendlies provide an opportunity to start again and bounce back from the Sweden catastrophe. The four-times World Cup winners will also be looking to put in a performance for friend and teammate Davide Astori who tragically passed away recently.

It is a healthy 3/1 for an Italy win here and we have seen in the past that Italy are often at their best when written off. Don’t rule the Azzurri out of your international football predictions just yet.

Historically games between these two are very close, with two wins apiece and two draws in their last six meetings. It is 23/10 for a draw here.

Lionel Messi is the 14/5 favourite to open the scoring in this game, while the recalled Higuain is priced at 9/2. For Italy, Ciro Immobile is one of the likeliest candidates to break the deadlock, and he’s available at 13/2.

Match Summary

1

Look out for:

Argentina’s form in 2017 was very sketchy and Italy will want to make their mark on this game. It’s 16/1 for over 3.5 goals and the draw – at those odds it’s one of the more tempting free football betting tips for this encounter.

2

We fancy:

The draw and both teams to score at 4/1, which is our top football prediction here. Both sets of teams have their own reasons to do well in this one and with a healthy crowd expected they should push each other all the way.

3

It’s a long shot, but:

Italy to win 1-0 is 17/2. We have seen Italy snatch wins on many occasions, and the Azzurri winning 1-0 would be a surprise but it’s a football score predication we have all made before.

Written by Elio Salerno

Elio Salerno is a Peterborough-based family man, Juventus fanatic, football coach and football obsessive. A serial tweeter, Elio counts Alessandro Del Piero’s World Cup 2006 goal against Germany as his favourite in the sport’s history.