Argentina v Italy Betting Tips & Preview – Friday 23rd March 2018

Jorge Sampaoli’s Argentina play Italy at Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium this Friday night for a mouth-watering international friendly. Luigi Di Biagio will take temporary charge of the team for Gli Azzurri’s upcoming friendlies against Argentina and England. As the Argentines prepare for the summer’s FIFA World Cup in Russia, the Italians are looking to rebuild after missing out on the showpiece tournament.

These two giants of the international game have not gone head-to-head in over five years, with Italy’s last win over Argentina coming in the 1982 World Cup in Spain. This may only be a friendly game, but the Italians will want to restore some national pride by winning on Friday. With plenty of talent on display, this should be a cracker in Manchester.

Top Tips

Argentina Win @ 19/20

Argentina to Win 2-1 @ 8/1

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

Argentina Form

Argentina left it late, but their 3-1 win in Ecuador on the final day of CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying was enough to book a place in the summer’s tournament. In an extremely tough qualifying campaign, the Argentines won just seven of 18 matches to finish third behind Brazil and Uruguay. Colombia were the fourth and final team to make it straight through.

Despite their tricky path to Russia, Argentina are once again one of the bookies’ favourites to win the World Cup outright. Having lost the final in extra-time in Brazil back in 2014, La Albiceleste would love to go one better this year and lift their first World Cup trophy since 1986.

MatchDateScoreResult
Argentina v Nigeria 14th November 2017 2-4 Loss
Russia v Argentina 11th November 2017 0-1 Win
Ecuador v Argentina 11th October 2017 1-3 Win

Italy Form

Italy took a giant leap backwards last year when they failed to qualify for a World Cup for the first time since 1958. The Italians, managed by Gian Piero Ventura, finished second to Spain after winning seven, drawing two and losing one of their 10 qualifiers.

Italy then faced Janne Anderson’s Sweden in the play-offs over two legs. After a disappointing 1-0 defeat in the Friends Arena in Stockholm, Italy then failed to turn things around in Milan after a 0-0 draw in the San Siro. A World Cup without Italy is unheard of, but the rebuilding process starts now.

MatchDateScoreResult
Italy v Sweden 13th November 2017 0-0 Draw
Sweden v Italy 10th October 2017 1-0 Loss
Albania v Italy 9th October 2017 0-1 Win

Head to Head Stats

Argentina won a friendly 2-1 in Rome the last time these two met back in August 2013. The Argentines also won 2-1 in the Italian capital the time before that in 2001. Their last competitive meeting came in the 1990 World Cup when Argentina needed penalties to reach the final.

Gli Azzurri have not beaten La Albiceleste since the 1982 World Cup in Spain. Can they seal their first win over Argentina in 36 years this Friday night?

DateHomeScoreAwayResultCompetition
14th Aug 2013 Italy 1-2 Argentina Argentina Friendly
28th Feb 2001 Italy 1-2 Argentina Argentina Friendly
3rd July 1990 Italy 1-1 Argentina Argentina (pens) World Cup

Injuries & Suspensions

Argentina will be without Sergio Aguero, who recently picked up a knee injury. Meanwhile, Sampaoli has opted to leave out Paolo Dybala and Mauro Icardi. Despite announcing his retirement from international football last year, Gigi Buffon has been added to Italy’s squad for their upcoming friendlies. Patrick Cutrone, who’s been on fire for AC Milan, has been called up for the first time.

Argentina

  • Eduardo Salvio - Out with a knee injury
  • Sergio Aguero - Side-lined until late March with a knee problem
  • Diego Perotti - Will miss out with a muscle problem
  • Paolo Dybala - Not in squad
  • Mauro Icardi - Striker has been overlooked

Italy

  • Patrick Cutrone - 20-year-old included in the first-team squad for first time
  • Gianluigi Buffon - Stopper in squad despite announcing retirement a few months back

Betting Tips

As Argentina gear up for the 2018 World Cup, they will be looking to go into the tournament on the back of a winning run. Even though this is only a friendly, Italy will be desperate to restore some pride after their gut-wrenching and embarrassing play-off defeat to Sweden. With so much quality on show in both camps, this one could go either way at the Etihad Stadium.

Argentina Win

In terms of quality in the squad, you would have to say that Argentina just edge it. The fact Sampaoli can leave out the likes of Icardi and Dybala speaks volume of how strong they are. This could be a close one in Manchester as both sides look for a win and a good performance, but we fancy La Albiceleste to nick it. Back Argentina to win at odds of 19/20.

Argentina to Win 2-1

The last two games between Argentina and Italy have both ended in 2-1 wins for the White and Sky Blues. We like the look of a third straight 2-1 Argentine win this Friday, which you can get at the solid odds of 8/1.

Argentina Win & Both Teams To Score

Despite eventually being knocked out in the play-offs, Italy managed to score in all bar one of their 10 Group G qualifying matches, and they should find the net in Manchester. With that in mind, have a punt on Argentina to win and both teams to score at 15/4.

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