Italy and Brazil meet in their final group game in the Women’s World Cup, kicking off on Tuesday night at 9:00pm local time in Valenciennes, France. Italy have already advanced to the last 16, with Brazil still needing a result to guarantee their progression.

Italy

Italy have only qualified for one World Cup before, and that was back in 1999. Italy are ranked 15th in the world, and many hadn’t tipped that they could potentially win the World Cup. After their first two displays at this tournament, they certainly deserve to be in the discussion now and could be dark horses in going all the way. In their first encounter, they surprised Australia by scoring a last minute goal to secure a 2-1 victory.

Following that, they managed to comfortably beat Jamaica 5-0 with a hat-trick from Cristiana Girelli and then a double from Aurora Galli – with the latter scoring arguably the goal of the tournament so far. Italy just need to avoid defeat to progress as group winners, despite many anticipating them to finish 3rd. Can they maintain their 100% winning start?

Brazil

Brazil’s women don’t have the same pedigree has the men’s football team, but have always been a contender to win the World Cup down the years. The closest they came was in 2007 when they reached the final, but ultimately lost to Germany. With Marta amongst their ranks, regarded as one of the greatest ever female players, they should never be ruled out. Their World Cup got off to a flying start with a comfortable 3-0 win over Jamaica with Cristiane, a reputable goal scorer, scoring a hat-trick.

In their 2nd game, it all seemed to go to plan when they had lead Australia 2-0 – goals from Marta and Cristiane. However, they crumbled and eventually lost 3-2 scoring an own goal to give Australia the lead. They’ll need to avoid defeat here to guarantee a spot in the last 16, but can finish first if they were to win. More importantly, they’ll need a reaction following that disappointment against Australia.

Head to Head

The sides have played one competitive game in their history, and it came in Italy’s only previous World Cup back in 1999. Italy and Brazil were drawn in the same group, but the latter getting a 2-0 win which helped them progress in 2nd place – two goals from Brazilian legend Sissi. Italy could only muster four points and were eliminated in the group, whereas Brazil would go on to claim a 3rd place position in the tournament.

Predictions and Betting Tips

Italy are at 7/4, making Brazil slight favourites at 6/4. For the sides to draw, that is at 12/5. Italy go into the game with a lot less pressure, and may be tempted to rest some players, and give their whole squad some game time. If that was the case, I’d tip Brazil to win, but I am going to sit on the fence and call a draw. I’d go for a 1-1 draw, priced at 11/2. For the goal scorers, I’d back both Cristiana Girelli of Italy, and Marta of Brazil to score at 7/1.

Brazil have lost a game from behind, and Italy won their opener coming from a losing position, so to back Italy to win from behind at 11/1 is something to consider. Both of these teams have been in high scoring matches so far, so for them to score at least 3.5 goals in the game between them, that is at a generous 7/4.

Finally, there has been abundance of penalties at the World Cup with these two already being awarded one apiece – a penalty awarded is at 9/4.

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