Czech Republic-Italy Betting Preview: Azzurri good value to keep World Cup campaign on course

Cesare Prandelli's side are in pole position in the race to qualify for Brazil 2014 and Willie Duncan is backing them to claim another victory in Prague on Friday night
Euro 2012 runners-up Italy have made a fine start in their bid to reach World Cup 2014 and Cesare Prandelli’s men will look to take another step towards qualification for next summer’s showpiece event when they travel to take on Czech Republic in Prague.

Italy have won four of their opening five Group B fixtures to put themselves firmly in the driving seat to secure a place in the Brazil finals and the four-time champions are chalked up as 11/10 (2.10) favourites with Coral to claim a vital victory on Friday night.

Michal Bilek’s men have had a mixed bag of results in qualifying so far but three points on Friday will  rejuvenate Czech hopes of reaching Rio de Janeiro next summer. A home win is rated as a 5/2 (3.50) chance with Coral while the same firm go 9/4 (3.25) that the match ends in stalemate.

The Azzurri have scored 12 goals in five qualifying fixtures thus far and are again likely to pose a real goal threat against the Czechs.

AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli has been hitting the headlines for all the right reasons since his January move to San Siro and the 22-year-old is chalked up as a 4/1 (5.0) chance with Coral to open the scoring on Friday night.

Balotelli has scored three goals in his last two World Cup qualifiers for Prandelli’s side and the even money (2.0) quote from Coral for the former Manchester City man to score at any time on Friday certainly offers considerable appeal here.

However, Italy may need to be patient as they wait for their rewards in the Czech capital. It is worth noting that prior to the shock 3-0 home reverse at the hands of Denmark back in March, Czech Republic had conceded just one goal in three qualifying fixtures.

Bilek’s men followed up on that loss against the Danes by keeping a third clean sheet in five Group B matches in a 3-0 win over Armenia and it seems likely that the Czechs will look to keep things tight once again when the group leaders visit.

Nevertheless, Cesare Prandelli’s men can be trusted to claim another victory on their path to World Cup 2014 and the 11/10 (2.10) quote from Coral for Italy to emerge victorious should be snapped up accordingly here.

Those looking to squeeze extra value from the contest could well be tempted by the 7/2 (4.50) quote on offer from Coral for the match to be drawn at half-time with Italy leading at full-time while the 5/1 (6.0) quote from the same firm for Italy to enjoy a slender 1-0 win is sure to prove attractive to punters.

                   BEST BET                                           VALUE BET
Italy to win at 11/10 (2.10) with Coral Draw half-time/Italy full-time at 7/2 (4.50) with Coral

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