Big Match Breakdown: Italy v Ukraine
Preview, odds and tips for friendly clash
Italy will be looking to return to winning ways when they host Ukraine in Genoa tonight. Roberto Mancini’s men have chalked up just a single victory in their last nine outings – a 2-1 success over 71st ranked Saudi Arabia in May.
Can they pick up a much needed win against Andriy Yarmolenko and co. on Sky Sports Main Event from 7:45pm? The Coral News Team have previewed the clash with a Big Match Breakdown.
Ukraine will smell blood given Italy’s wretched run. But the visitors will have to overcome a dismal head-to-head record if they’re to take anything from this match. Gli Azzurri have won six of the nations’ seven meetings in all competitions – save a 0-0 draw in 2006.
Giuseppe Rossi and Alessandro Matri netted a goal apiece in a 2-0 triumph for Italy when the countries last met back in 2011.
Mancini is expected to name a strong side, with Jorginho, Giorgio Chiellini, Marco Verratti and Ciro Immobile all set to feature. Alessio Romagnoli, Danilo D’Ambrosio, Simone Zaza and Patrick Cutrone are all unavailable after withdrawing from the squad. Federico Bernardeschi could be deployed as a false nine to counter Italy’s goalscoring problems.
The visitors should also have a number of familiar names on show, with Yarmolenko and Schalke 04 star Yevhen Konoplyanka likely to cause problems on either wing. Manchester City star Oleksandr Zinchenko could be handed a midfield berth, with Andriy Shevchenko set to name a strong XI in Genoa.
Azzurri fans will be hoping their side displays more attacking intent than they did against Portugal and Poland recently. So Mancini’s decision to try a false nine looks positive.
If Bernardeschi and Serie A hotshot Ciro Immobile can combine alongside Lorenzo Insigne in a front three, they could be in business. Seven-time Ukrainian Premier League winner Yaroslav Rakitskiy and Mykyta Burda are the defensive combination standing in their way.
Meanwhile, the aforementioned twosome of Konoplyanka and Yarmolenko will look to tie a fragile home defence in knots on either side. Judging by Italy’s recent performance at home to Poland, they should get plenty of joy.
The Coral traders make Italy the favourites for this one at 7/10. Ukraine are 19/5 to win their fifth away matches in eight attempts, with the draw priced at 9/4.
No home player has made it into double-figures in terms of goals scored at international level. Visiting West Ham United star Yarmolenko has struck 36 times in 78 matches for his country, by contrast. He’s 16/5 to Net Anytime or 17/2 to Score First. Bernardeschi is expected to start for the hosts and can be backed at 23/10 Anytime.
Two closely matched sides are 6/10 to produce Under 2.5 Goals for the sixth Italy home match in seven.
Click here for the latest Italy v Ukraine odds from Coral.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing