Italy v Ukraine Betting Tips & Predictions
Today we’re looking at Italy v Ukraine. We have a quieter than usual midweek ahead. The Champions League, Europa League, Premier League and cup matches have taken a backwards step to make room for another round of international fixtures. That won’t excite too many fans; however, there’s plenty on offer to ensure backers have a healthy interest.
Three international friendlies are scheduled to take place on Wednesday with Indonesia v Myanmar getting things moving at 11am. That’s unlikely to attract too much attention due to the timeslot and teams involved. However, there will be more of a fuss made about Albania v Jordan and, game of the night, Italy v Ukraine.
The bill-topper takes place at Stadio Luigi Ferraris, a ground better known as the home of Genoa and Sampdoria. The Sky Sports cameras will be in attendance from 7.45pm. This means punters can follow their pre-match bets live or get involved again at any point during the 90 minutes, thanks to the plethora of in-play markets available.
Italy Suffer Dip in Form
Roberto Mancini’s Italy are currently ranked 20th in the world, but their recent results does little to support that rise through the ranks. The Blues are winless in four in all competitions; their last positive result came against Saudi Arabia back in May, following a 1-1 draw with England. Even the spare was close, the victors coming home ahead courtesy of a tight 2-1 result.
Balotelli and Belotti had Italy in a comfortable position at Kybunpark, before Al-Shehri struck a reply on 71 minutes to force a nervy finish. Since then, the Italians have lost 3-1 to France – Umtiti, Griezmann, Dembele eclipsing Bonucci; they drew 1-1 at home to Holland and Poland before dropping a 1-0 away to Portugal at the Estadio da Luz in September, Valente Silva scoring the match winner.
Italy are famous for their defensive attitude and that often makes their matches a tad dull for some; however, their recent stats suggest they are bucking that trend. Both teams have scored in five of their last six with a total 14 goals recorded in the same period.
Ukraine Boosted by Winning Run
Unlike their opponents, Ukraine have been flying in recent times. They strut into this fixture with their tails in the air having won four and drawn two of their last half-dozen. That purple patch started with a 1-1 draw away to Saudi Arabia in a match they really should have won. The team made up for it next time, dealing out a 2-1 beating to Japan at Stade Standard de Liege in front of a modest crowd.
Rakitskiy opened the scoring that day on 21 minutes before Makino drew the teams level. It didn’t last long however; Karavayev put his name on the decider inside 69 minutes. Yellow-Blue had to make do with a goalless finish when away to Morocco next time, but that proved to be little more than a bump in the road, with Andriy Shevchenko’s team then going on a winning run.
They hammered Albania 4-1 in a match that injected real confidence into the dressing room and used that to pick-up a valuable win over Czech Republic next time out in the UEFA Nations League, certainly no mean feat. Ukraine completed the hat-trick when edging past Slovenia in the same competition; Yarmolenko smashed it home from the penalty spot late in the game.
There’s a Strong Clue Here
Italy and Ukraine have met five times before in recorded competitive history, first back in 2006 and most recently in 2011. The stats give quite strong clues as to how this renewal may pan out – with Italy never losing to Wednesday’s opponents at any level. The head-to-head stats stand at Italy 4-0 Ukraine with one draw.
The spare result came in the opener with a goalless friendly in June 2006. Since then, Italy have won each match, scoring nine goals in the process while conceding just one. Rossi and Matri were on target last time and, despite Ukraine’s current form, it makes perfect sense to stick with the Italians.
Italy Favourites For Win Number Five
Italy -1 goal on the handicap would’ve been settled as a winning bet in three of the previous five matches. That’s worth keeping in mind when planning your attack on the bookies. If you want, more of the same can be backed at 7/4 with Bet365.
The match winner market is more straightforward. Italy is priced as favourite and if you are looking to follow the thinking of traders, you’ll get 4/6. The draw goes 11/4, while a historic Ukraine victory is top price 4/1, all three prices coming from Bet365.
We may be sticking with the trends when backing Italy to win, but we can’t just simply put a line through Ukraine’s form. They’ve been scoring goals, matching respected teams and playing with a spring in their step.
While this has been going on Italy have been treading water, conceding goals and struggling to give their fans something to shout about. We’ll have a side bet on both teams to score in an Italy win and that’s 13/5. Again, Bet365 is the place to back as they are offering top odds.