Italy-Mexico Betting Preview: Expect goals to be thin on the ground at the Maracana

Jose Manuel de la Torre's men have become experts in keeping things tight recently, and Al Hain-Cole expects them to restrict the Azzurri in a low-scoring affair
Italy and Mexico have the honour of playing the first competitive match at the revamped Maracana Stadium on Sunday, as they come face-to-face in the Confederations Cup.

This is the Azzurri’s first ever appearance at this competition, and they are favourites at 5/4 (2.25) with Bet365 to hit the ground running with a win in Rio de Janeiro.

However, Jose Manuel de la Torre’s side came out on top the last time these sides met in 2010, and are available at 12/5 (3.40) to do the same this time out.

Watching el Tricolor has been a slightly frustrating experience for fans recently, as their side have drawn eight of their last nine games and you can get odds of 21/10 (3.10) on them sharing the spoils yet again.

Mexico’s inability to turn draws into wins is down to a lack of cutting edge up front. Although the north Americans have only conceded five goals in their last 10 games, a return of just eight scored in that period has hardly made for entertaining viewing.

Considering Cesare Prandelli’s complaints that his players are jet-lagged after taking to the field in the Czech Republic and then Haiti in the space of four days before flying into Brazil, it would be no surprise if this game was found wanting in terms of attacking vigour, and the result may well be a low-scoring affair.

A bet on under 2.5 goals would have paid out in 11 of el Tricolor’s last 14 games, as well as six of their last seven against European nations, and should be a surefire winner at 4/7 (1.57) odds against the tired Italians.

When de la Torre’s men do manage to find the back of the net, it usually comes courtesy of Javier Hernandez, who has scored four of their last five goals.

Anytime goalscorer odds of 2/1 (3.00) seem very generous on a man with 32 goals in 50 international games to his name, and it is well worth backing the Manchester United striker at that price.

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Under 2.5 goals at 4/7 (1.57) with bet365
Javier Hernandez to score anytime at 2/1 (3.00) with bet365

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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.