World Cup Betting Preview: Italy vs. Paraguay

(0-0-0, 0 pts Group F)
(0-0-0, 0 pts Group F)

The defending World Cup champions will take to the pitch for the first time here in South Africa on Monday afternoon in Cape Town, as Italy squares off with Paraguay in World Cup betting action in Group F.

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The Italians will be without M Andrea Pirlo for at least this match and most likely one more, but there isn’t a real concern in their locker room. This match against Paraguay is going to be a tough one, but beyond that, Slovakia and New Zealand really shouldn’t cause all that much concern, and even one slip up will not cost the defending champs an easy ticket to the knockout rounds of this tournament. The defense for the Azzurri is still amongst the strongest in the world, particularly as long as GK Gianluigi Buffon is manning the net. Buffon and his defense, led by D Alessandro Nesta, only allowed two goals in the entire 2006 World Cup en route to the championship, and most of that defense is back to try to put a fort around the Italian net once again. Attacking options could become a concern for Team Italy, especially after a few dismal lead up matches to this World Cup, but just one strike could be enough in what has been a very low scoring tournament to date.

Paraguay is going to be going at it this year with a lot of expectations. This was a team that finished ahead of Argentina in qualifying for the World Cup and will be considered a favorite to advance through a relatively lowly Group F. F Roque Santa Cruz missed the majority of the qualifying matches for this tournament, but he is going to have a tall task going against these Italians. Many think that Santa Cruz may be the best, and potentially the only man that is talented enough to break through against that stingy defense. It is fairly clear that tactically, the South American side is going to be perfectly content to play this match to a 0-0 or 1-1 draw, much as the United States did against England on the second match day of this tournament.

If somehow, Paraguay could sneak three points out of this match, it would be the biggest win in the history of Paraguayan soccer. However, with just a 6-7-9 record in seven World Cups, we knows that that probably isn’t going to happen. Italy is just too strong to not be able to at least find the back of the net once, and we tend to believe that that one strike is going to be enough to give the Azzurri three points to start the World Cup.

Selection: Italy -0.5 +120 at Brobury Sports

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