Italy not great value but should emerge as Group B winners

By Dean Goddard on 03/08/2011 14:27

World Cup 2014 qualifying Group B is unlikely to prove a cakewalk for Italy, but nonetheless they should prove too strong for rivals such as Denmark, Czech Republic and Bulgaria and book their place at the finals in Brazil.

Italy returned from the 2010 World Cup in South Africa with their tails firmly between their legs after finishing bottom of their group with no wins against the likes of Paraguay, Slovakia and New Zealand.

As you can imagine this performance was a catastrophe for a nation that has held aloft the coveted World Cup trophy four times previously and therefore manager at the time Marcello Lippi stood down and was replaced by Cesare Prandelli.

It's too early to say what effect the new manager will have long term, but the Italians are currently sailing through their Euro 2012 qualifying group with five wins and a draw from six matches and have only conceded the one goal, so things certainly look brighter now than at the end of 2010.

The Czech Republic has seen a drop in standards since the days of Pavel Nedved and while Denmark customary give their best, they too shouldn't have enough ammunition to trouble an Italian side that looks like it's getting back to a respectable level.


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