Egypt vs. Italy Confederations Cup Preview 8:30 PM CET Thursday June 18.2009
by Jason Green of Predictem.com
In a decisive group game in the Confederations Cup Italy looks to advance to the semifinals, while Egypt looks to stay alive in group play. In their first group game Italy came back from being down 1-0 at half to the USA to win the match 3-1, while Egypt may still be reeling from their last second loss on a penalty shot to Brazil 4-3. Italy can book a trip to the semifinals if they win this game and they would definitely want to do that against Egypt rather then having to beat Brazil in the last group match.
This is a match up of the World Cup champions Italy against the African Champions Egypt. Egypt looked solid in their first game against Brazil erasing a 3-1 halftime deficit to come back to tie the game. There was a late penalty in the game and Brazil’s Kaka buried the shot to hand Egypt a loss. Egypt still has some work to do to qualify for South Africa next summer, but they have won the last two Africa Cup of Nations tournaments and they showed the can stay with a world class power in their heartbreaking loss to Brazil.
Even though Italy beat USA 3-1 they did not look very impressive doing so. Sure the 3 shots that Italy buried were legit shots the Americans had more scoring chances even though they were a man down after a red card. Gianluigi Buffon had a solid game in goal for the Italians and USA did not take advantage of when they were one on one with the Italian legend.
Italy is the favorites in this game posted at 5.25 with Egypt the underdog at 1.65 and a draw at 3.60. The moneylines for this game have Italy posted at -140 and Egypt posted at +350 with a draw at +240.
Egypt Recent Form:
6/15/2009 Brazil 4 Egypt 3 (Confederations Cup)
6/7/2009 Algeria 3 Egypt 1 (WC Qualifier)
5/30/2009 Oman 0 Egypt 1 (Friendly)
3/29/2009 Egypt 1 Zambia 1 (WC Qualifier)
2/11/2009 Egypt 2 Gambia 2 (Friendly)
Italy Recent Form:
6/15/2009 USA 1 Italy 3 (Confederations Cup)
6/10/2009 Italy 4 New Zealand 3 (Friendly)
5/30/2009 Italy 3 Northern Ireland 0 (Friendly)
4/1/2009 Italy 1 Ireland 1 (WC Qualifier)
3/28/2009 Montenegro 0 Italy 2 (WC Qualifier)
Egypt does not have any injuries, but Ahmed Al Muhamadi is suspended for this match after being sent off with a red card against Brazil. Italy is also healthy and they may get captain Fabio Cannavaro back, as he is match fit and may get a start.
Striker Mohamed Zidan of Egypt will have to give the Pharos some offense in this game. He played 4 years in the Bundesliga and he is the best player for Egypt. He scored in the match against Brazil and he will be counted on to apply offensive pressure in this game.
Italy must play better defensively in this game, as they allowed the US to have way to many chances to score even though the Americans were a man down. Egypt is more attacking team then the USA so Italy will have to that much more careful.
Giuseppe Rossi scored 2 goals against the USA after being substituted in the 2nd half and he may start in this match.
Gianluca Zambrotta has to use his height in this match to head away the many crosses that Egypt will attempt.
The midfielders of Egypt will have to know where Italy Mf Andrea Pirlo is at all times, as he is a sensational passer and is a master at setting up goal scoring opportunities.
Egypt G Essam El Hadari has to have a solid match, especially in the 2nd half when Italy presses more.
The Egypt defense also has to play better when Italy has set pieces, as they did not defense free kicks well in their loss to Brazil.
Jason’s Pick: Egypt showed they can score on great teams, but in this match they face Italy G Gianluigi Buffon, who is still considered one of the best keepers in the world. I see Italy attacking more in this game to try to get to the semis without having their next match against Brazil being the decider. I see a score of 2-1 or 3-1 for Italy.