Although Cesare Prandelli's men outclassed the Three Lions in their last competitive encounter, Al Hain-Cole expects Hodgson's exciting young attack to find joy in Manaus
Having crashed out of Euro 2012 on penalties against these opponents, Roy Hodgson’s side are 2/1 (3.00) outsiders with Paddy Power to make amends with a victory that would set them up perfectly for one of the the so-called ‘Groups of Death’.
Despite winning just one of their last eight games coming into the tournament, the Azzurri are 7/4 (2.75) favourites to come out on top when it matters in Manaus.
The sides have recorded draws in each of their last two competitive meetings, and you can get odds of 2/1 (3.00) on them cancelling each other out once again here.
While they may only have lost on penalties, the Three Lions were thoroughly outclassed when these sides met at the European Championships two years ago.
So defensive were Hodgson’s tactics that evening that his side’s most successful passing move was a long ball from goalkeeper Joe Hart to second-half substitute Andy Carroll, with the possession statistics weighed heavily in the Italians’ favour and England could have few complaints about the eventual result.
However, the former West Brom and Liverpool boss is unlikely to take such a negative approach this time out considering their opponents’ evident defensive frailty and the influx of talented attacking players now at his disposal.
With the likes of Daniel Sturridge, Adam Lallana and Raheem Sterling all joining the squad after extremely successful seasons for their clubs, the English attack should prove too hot to handle for a backline that has kept just one clean sheet in their last nine.
Having conceded at least twice against Denmark, Armenia, Nigeria and Fluminense in that period, Cesare Prandelli’s side are unlikely to shut out a frontline that has been renewed with youthful vigour since 2012.
If England’s unconvincing defending in the 2-2 draw against Ecuador is anything to go by, albeit there are likely to be some changes in personnel, odds of 6/5 (2.20) are certainly not to be missed on both sides finding the net for the eighth time in 10 matches featuring an adventurous Italy team.
Paddy Power are refunding losing bets on the First/Last goalscorer, Correct Score and Scorecast markets if the match finishes 0-0.
|Both teams to score for a 2pt stake at 6/5 (2.20) with Paddy Power
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Al Hain-Cole is a Liverpool fan, 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.