Odds Italy Will Win World Cup 2014
The Azzurri head to Brazil 2014 in pursuit of their fifth World Cup title, and with the depth of experience on this squad, they are well positioned to make a deep run. The Italians are +150 favorites to win a very tough Group D. In addition to long-time rivals England, Italy must also contend with Uruguay, currently No. 6 in FIFA’s world rankings, and the squad that Italy defeated on penalty shots to take third place at the 2013 Confederations Cup.
Italy is stacked with experienced stars, many of whom were on the 2006 World Cup-winning team. Simply put, this team is built to win now. At one end, Italy will be relying on 36-year-old goalkeeper Gigi Buffon, hero of the 2006 World Cup, while 35-year-old playmaker Andrea Pirlo will lead the Azzurri attack. The two Juventus teammates have a combined 247 caps for Italy’s national side.
Early World Cup Pick
Italy enters the Group Stage as a +150 favorite, but must face a pair of strong rivals looking to avenge recent losses. Uruguay is likely to present the greatest threat to Italy in group play. The memory will still be fresh in their minds of their heartbreaking loss to Italy in the bronze medal game at the 2013 Confederations Cup. Italy last faced arch-rivals England in the 2012 Euro, where they handed them a quarterfinal defeat on penalties. The biggest concern for Italy may be their failure to beat any top-tier competition since the Confederations Cup, which may increase the focus on a number of youngsters who are waiting in the wings to join the national side.
Italy Qualifying Results - How they got to the World Cup
Italy went undefeated in World Cup qualifying, leading European Group B with six wins and four draws, clinching their 14th consecutive World Cup berth with a 2-1 win over Czech Republic.
07/09/12 Bulgaria 2 – 2 Italy
11/09/12 Italy 2 – 0 Malta
12/10/12 Armenia 1 – 3 Italy
16/10/12 Italy 3 – 1 Denmark
26/03/13 Malta 0 – 2 Italy
07/06/13 Czech Republic 0 – 0 Italy
06/09/13 Italy 1 – 0 Bulgaria
10/09/13 Italy 2 – 1 Czech Republic
11/10/13 Denmark 2 – 2 Italy
15/10/13 Italy 2 – 2 Armenia
Italy World Cup Group Play Schedule
15/06/14 England vs. Italy - Arena Amazonia
20/06/14 Italy vs. Costa Rica - Arena Pernambuco
24/06/14 Italy vs. Uruguay - Arena das Dunas
Italy Key Players
Gianluigi Buffon GK, Juventus – Captain of the Italian national side and hero of the 2006 World Cup, “Gigi” is still considered the best goalkeeper in the game.
Andrea Pirlo MF, Juventus – Veteran midfielder is among the most accurate passers in the game and incredibly dangerous on free kicks.
Mario Balotelli FW AC Milan – Milan striker has struggled with consistency in league play but his star potential is undeniable.