Cesare Prandelli is planning to put out a completely different team to the one that took on Germany and Al Hain-Cole expects their African opponents to take full advantageAfter becoming the first African team to seal their place in the World Cup at the weekend, Nigeria can begin their preparations for Brazil when they take on Italy at Craven Cottage on Monday.
The Super Eagles saw off Ethiopia 4-1 on aggregate in their qualification play-off and are available at 4/1 (5.00) with bet365 to continue the party with victory over their high profile opponents.
Cesare Prandelli’s men played out a 1-1 draw with Germany on Friday but are 4/6 (1.67) favourites to come out on top this time out.
That result was the Azzurri’s third consecutive draw, and you can get odds of 11/4 (3.75) on the sides cancelling each other out this evening.
Having fielded a strong line-up in the game against Germany, Prandelli has promised to completely rotate his squad in order to give the rest of the players a chance to make an impression.
The former Fiorentina manager recently bemoaned the lack of time available to experiment with his players on the training pitch, admitting the resultant tinkering in friendly matches has led to some “embarrassing results” in recent fixtures.
Italy’s only win in their last 11 exhibition matches came against lowly San Marino, with Haiti among the teams to have stood between them and victory in a 2-2 draw earlier this year.
Stephen Keshi’s men will therefore be extremely confident of taking something from the game against an experimental line-up, having won five of their last six and scoring 12 goals along the way.
With spirits high in the Nigerian camp, it would be a surprise if they were to join San Marino as the only team not to score against the Italians in 12 friendly fixtures, although they should be wary of an attack that has hit the back of the net in 21 of their last 23 games.
Considering the attacking talent still present for both teams, even money (2.00) quotes look too good to pass up on both sides to score this evening against defences unsettled by squad rotation.
|Both teams to score for a 1pt stake at Evens (2.00) with bet365
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Al Hain-Cole is an experienced tipster and avid follower of European football. He specialises in accumulators and if you would like to read more from Al you can follow him on Twitter here.