Prediksi Pertandingan Slovakia vs Italia

Prediksi Pertandingan Slovakia vs Italia : The shocks in he FIFA World Cup continue to come thick and fast. World Champions Italy were held to a frustrating draw by rank outsiders New Zealand following a rather unimpressive display. Their opponents in their last group match are a Slovakian side that were hardly inspiring either in the 2-0 defeat they suffered at the hands of Paraguay. Despite their lack of a win in the tournament thus far, Slovakia's lack of intent will allow Italy to believe that they can survive a shock early exit.

As things stand, this group like many others has gone down to the wire. A win for Italy will see them qualify, irrespective of what happens in the other game between Paraguay and New Zealand, what will change, though is whether Italy finish first or second. A win for Slovakia on the other hand, however unlikely, would put them in the mix for qualification, and that should be enough incentive for any team in this tournament to come out all guns blazing looking for one last hurrah. The action comes to us from Ellis Park in Johannesburg on Thursday the 24th of June.

fabio_cannavaro.jpgThe Azzurri are another European team has failed to perform to its billing. A lot of pundits expressed concern about Italy's World Cup chances because of an ageing squad and to an extent they have been correct. They have seemed to be lethargic in the latter portions of the game, lacked spirit and the players appear to be past their best. Cannavaro didn't make a single mistake in the 2006 World Cup but has been solely responsible for both the goals conceded so far.

They have looked uncharacteristic of the Italian sides that we have known and witnessed over the years. They have had lapses of concentration, lacked disciplined and organization. Italy's cause has not been helped with injuries to key players like Andrea Pirlo and Gianluigi Buffon. Pirlo has been hugely missed as the midfield appears to lack imagination, and just hasn't been creating enough chances for the men up front.

The Azzurri's performance against the All Whites was regarded as one of their worst and was reminiscent of their defeat to minnows North Korea back in the 1966 World Cup. Though we don't expect stiff competition coming from Slovakia, the Italians will have to raise their play if they are to have a long journey in this tournament. Manager Marcello Lippi needs to get the back-four settled, get back to basics and start getting the best out of them. Defence has always been their strength and with massive experience in the squad, they have all the potential to turn things around. In his most recent press conference Lippi said, "We can still do important things in this World Cup...But we have to take responsibility after two games that didn't go as we had planned. Not everything has gone well but we cannot see the glass empty because it's not the case. There is absolutely no crisis in our team."

Compared with other teams in Europe like England and France perhaps that in itself is the best news thus far for Italy!

A last gasp goal to New Zealand in their tournament opener would have shattered Slovakian spirits, and by the way they turned up for their game against Paraguay, it appears that Coach Vladimir Weiss failed to lift his demoralized squad. The Slovaks were sluggish and their lack of invention was apparent as they failed to exert any sustained pressure. Slovakia never really got stuck into their last game, were outplayed in the middle of the park and the three-striker approach adopted by Paraguay pushed them deeper and deeper in their own half.

Weiss got it tactically wrong and matters were made worse by the players' lackluster performance. Sestak's delivery from the right flank were terrible, Hamsik never wove any magic in a congested midfield and Kozak was all over the place and did nothing for a side severly lacking in ideas. Star player Skrtel also ended up making a couple of uncharacteristic errors and the entire back-line struggled against a potent Paraguayan attack.

The Slovaks were never favorites to progress to the next stage, but courtesy results in the other game, they still have an opportunity to make it and for that they will have to produce a major upset. Weiss will have to coax the best out of his players, motivate them and ask them to play with much more ease. He could ring in a couple of changes with the possibility of Jendrisek again being given the go-ahead after his disappointing outing against the Kiwis.

Form Guide (games in bold are World Cup matches)

Italy (DDDLD)
Mar 4, Italy 0-0 Cameroon
June 3, Italy 1-2 Mexico
June6, Italy 1-1 Switzerland
June 15, Italy 1-1 Paraguay - Match Report
June 20, Italy 1-1 New Zealand - Match Report

Mar 3, Slovakia 0-1 Norway
May 29, Slovakia 1-1 Cameroon
June 5, Slovakia 3-0 Costa Rica
June 15, Slovakia 1-1 New Zealand - Match Report
June 20, Slovakia 0-2 Paraguay - Match Report

Key Players:
Ricardo Montolivo: One of the few Italians whose reputation has been enhanced in the opening two matches. He has been influential, but yet has failed to carry the team over the winning line though he twice came close against New Zealand. Slovakia would be the perfect opportunity for him where he will want to leave his mark. His long-range shooting has caught the eye, his passing ability and delivering an ominous ball into the 18-yard could give the Slovaks a lot of trouble.

Marek Hamsik: Has had two disappointing games and he will need to impose himself in the middle if the Slovaks are to have any chance of winning this game. The highly regarded midfielder has gallons of potential and he needs to provide the creative spark to unlock the Italian defence. The Napoli man has to be the inspiration and steadying force in the game for the Slovaks and will have a slight edge having played against most of his opponents in Serie A.

Probable Line-ups:

Italy: Marchetti(GK), Zambrotta, Cannavaro, Chiellini, Criscito, Montolivo, De Rossi, Camoranesi, Marchisio, Iaquinta, Di Natale

Marchetti will continue in goal in the absence of Buffon. Cannavaro and Chiellini as the centre-back pairing haven't been particularly convincing, but a lack of better options should see them continue. Pirlo still has injury concerns so Lippi should stick with the same midfield but we believe Camoranesi could be picked up ahead of Pepe. Gilardino has done nothing of note either and may make finally make way for Antonio Di Natale.

Slovakia: Mucha (GK), Salata, Skrtel, Durica, Pekarik, Hamsik, Strba, Veetak, Sestak, Weiss, Jendrisek

We believe Jendrisek will be given the nod to partner Veetak up-fornt. Sestak will play behind the two strikers with Hamsik and Weiss attempting to compete in the midfield. They need to get more of the ball, than they did against Paraguay to get a grip on the game. No changes expected in the back-four with Skrtel leading the defence.

Prediction Scoreline: Italy 2 - 0 Slovakia

Experience holds the key in this game. Though the Italians have been poor so far, they have got players who could hold their nerve in tough situations and will know exactly what is expected out of them in this game. Slovakia too haven't found their rhythm but their squad is raw and inexperienced. The Italians will go about their business in a professional way and should come up with the good required to progress to the next round.

Prediksi Pertandingan Slovakia 0 vs 2 Italia