Italy vs Ireland Preview | Team News, Key Men and Stats

Italy vs Ireland Preview | Team News, Key Men and Stats

Republic of Ireland have a daunting task at their hands if they are to qualify to the round of 16. The 1-1 Draw against Sweden and a 3-0 thrashing means that not only should Republic of Ireland beat Italy, Sweden must drop points against Belgium in order for them to have a realistic chance at qualification. However,  manager Martin O'Neil is unperturbed and believes that his side has all it takes to qualify for the next round. Team News Italy …
Group E - Belgium v Italy | Key Men, Team News and Prediction

Group E - Belgium v Italy | Key Men, Team News and Prediction

Belgium will face Italy in what is undeniably the game of their group on Monday, at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais in Lyon in front of a packed 59,000 seater crowd. Belgium, being the hipsters' favourites, will go into this game with the weight of expectations of the whole nation on them as the so called 'golden generation' with an enviable roster of talent pretty much in all the positions. Although, there are questions as to whether this group of skilled individuals …
Andrea Pirlo & Steven Gerrard - Who Will Come Out On Top In Manaus?

Andrea Pirlo & Steven Gerrard - Who Will Come Out On Top In Manaus?

If being placed in the group of death was not enough, then being held back against teams like Honduras and Ecuador have further detested English claims of getting out of it. At a stage where everybody expected them to be at their level best, Roy Hodgson’s men have let their manager down in a tense situation. Steven Gerrard is expected to be the pivotal point of the English team in the World Cup and surely he will face a stern …
Anaethetising the opposition: passing & shooting analysis for Euro 2012

Anaethetising the opposition: passing & shooting analysis for Euro 2012

The key is to control the game. If we have the ball, he'll participate less and cause us fewer problems.
The above quote by Gerard Piqué about Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of the semi-final with Portugal summed up Spain's approach during Euro 2012. In a typically excellent piece by Sid Lowe for the Guardian (from which the above quote is taken), Spain's approach is described as being anaesthetic rather than aesthetic. The crux is that by controlling the ball, Spain are able to …
The Italy v Spain or Xavi Vs Pirlo Euro 2012 Final Preview

The Italy v Spain or Xavi Vs Pirlo Euro 2012 Final Preview

We'll begin with a quick review of the Euro 2012 Semi Final Result:
Italy 2 Germany 1...and ‘It could have been four, or five’. 
  This was the night that Balotelli finally came of age; where Pirlo was involved with 34% of the Azzurri’s play (received or played a pass) and boasted a 92% pass rate. Cesare Prandelli set his team up in his favoured 4-3-1-2 formation for the third game in succession after beginning the tournament with the controversial …
Italy 1-1 Croatia Report & Why Croatia were 39.8% ‘Luckier’? [PDO v2]

Italy 1-1 Croatia Report & Why Croatia were 39.8% ‘Luckier’? [PDO v2]

Both the Azzurri and Croatia came into this game unchanged and in full confidence after their recent performances against Spain and the Republic of Ireland. Italy’s first half performance was comfortable - with the midfield trio of Pirlo, Marchisio and Thiago Motta running the show and the front line of Balotelli - Cassano were provided with constant ammunition. It was Andrea Pirlo who broke the deadlock with a trademark placed free kick from 25 yards out. Incredibly, Pirlo became the …
Italy 1 Spain 1 | Review & Statistically Proving - Were Italy Lucky?

Italy 1 Spain 1 | Review & Statistically Proving - Were Italy Lucky?

The kings of two footballing philosophies locked horns in the opening Group C game of Euro 2012: Catenaccio and Tiki-Taka; Italy and Spain. The Catenaccio philosophy is one associated with a highly organised and effective defensive tactic that focuses on taming the opponent’s attacks and in turn preventing any credible goal scoring opportunities. In Catenaccio, it is typical that the role of a sweeper, libero or verrouilleur is given a pivotal role in both defensive organisation and playing the ball …
Euro 2012: Analysing the Winning Formula | Champions Analysis

Euro 2012: Analysing the Winning Formula | Champions Analysis

With Euro 2012 nearly upon us, a lot of money is exchanging hands between punters and bookmakers to predict the outcome of this prestigious event. Favourites to win Euro 2012 include, World Cup '10 winners and current European Championship holders, Spain as well as 3-time Euro winners Germany. Both Spain and Germany posted 100% win percentages during qualification and are seen as hot favourites  to take the 14th European Football Championship. Armed with this information, it would appear to be a …
Page: 1 2