Betting Special: Will Pirlo overshadow Gerrard yet again?

Having seen the Juventus man run the show when these sides met at Euro 2012, Al Hain-Cole ponders whether his Three Lions counterpart can steal the spotlight this time out
Having seen Andrea Pirlo pull the strings in Italy’s penalty shootout victory over England at Euro 2012, Steven Gerrard will be hoping to have a similar influence from his newly-adopted withdrawn role in Saturday’s World Cup rematch.

Pirlo vs Gerrard

Odds from bet365
Pirlo to win Man of the Match 5/1
Gerrard to win Man of the Match 10/1
Gerrard to score anytime 11/2
Pirlo to score anytime 6/1
Gerrard to score and England to win 1-0 40/1
Pirlo to score and Italy to win 1-0 45/1
Gerrard is available at 2/1 (3.00) with bet365 to lead his side to victory against the 9/5 (2.80) match favourites with another draw priced at 2/1 (3.00), so the bookmakers are finding the two sides tough to split but not the two players in question.

In fact, the Juventus man is the current 5/1 (6.00) frontrunner to win the Man of the Match award just as he did in Ukraine, with Gerrard lagging behind on 10/1 (11.00).

Nevertheless, after enjoying his most prolific season for Liverpool in years, the 34-year-old is worth considering at 11/2 (6.50) to find the net in Manaus, or 12/1 (13.00) to score first or last, especially as he should be on penalty duty should England be awarded a spot-kick.

Similarly, Pirlo’s expertise from set-pieces surely make him solid value at 6/1 (7.00) to get on the scoresheet or even 14/1 (15.00) to break the deadlock.

With bet365 offering to refund all losing goalscorer bets should the sides serve up another 0-0 draw, it is well worth taking a punt with a tight game in prospect.

As that offer also applies to scorecast markets, odds of 40/1 (41.00) appear tempting on Gerrard adopting the match-winner role he has occupied so frequently for his club in a 1-0 victory, while odds of 45/1 (46.00) look particularly attractive on Pirlo achieving the same for Cesare Prandelli’s men.

If either do find the net then it could very likely come from the penalty spot, and you can get odds of 11/4 (3.75) on one being awarded, 10/1 (11.00) on either side scoring from 12 yards or 28/1 (29.00) on them missing.

On a more pessimistic note, both potential heroes are available at 16/1 (17.00) to make themselves villains by earning the first yellow card of what promises to be a fiercely-contested clash.
Pirlo to be named Man of the Match for a 1pt stake at 5/1 (6.00) with bet365
Pirlo to score & Italy to win 1-0 for a 0.75pt stake at 45/1 (46.00) 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.