Playing for a draw will suit Italian psyche.
Maybe conditions were to blame, but Italy’s display against Costa Rica was a shocker and the Azzurri will be on their way home if they perform with similar indifference against Uruguay.
Having been so dominant against England, Andreas Pirlo could hardly wait to get rid of the ball in Recife and his forwards spent most of the 90 minutes standing in an offside position waiting for something to happen.
Cesare Pirandelli just didn’t have a plan B with his key players underperforming and that’s a worry for this a game that they can’t simply can’t afford to lose.
That said, when an Italian team goes into a match in which they need only a draw, you know they are going to fight tooth and nail to get that result.
They’ll flood the midfield and will attempt to shackle the Uruguayans who will be forced to throw men forward if they don’t grab an early goal.
Let’s be honest here, Uruguay may not be a one-man team but they don’t have much else to boast about outside of Luis Suarez and his chief ally Edinson Cavani.
The pair teamed up to destroy England’s hopes but the 87 minutes that Suarez spent on the pitch in Sao Paolo will have taken plenty out of him, however, and it might be asking a lot of the Liverpool striker to repeat his heroics in such a short space of time.
Coach Oscar Tabarez will be without suspended key defender Maxi Pereira again and Diego Lugano is injured.
Diego Godin was lucky to stay on the field against England and is always liable to give away free-kicks in dangerous areas and that could be a way for Italy to put pressure on the South Americans, but they will have to support Mario Balotelli a bit more than they did against Costa Rica.
A draw will do for Italy and they can hold on for a point at 21/10. They usually build momentum as a tournament progresses. The draw at half time is 11/10.
The match kicks off at 5pm UK time on Tuesday June 24th at the Estadio das Dunas, Natal.