There is arguably no bigger clash in the final round of pool games at the 2014 World Cup, with Uruguay and Italy both fighting to keep their World Cup hopes alive at Arena das Dunas in Natal at 2am (AEST) tomorrow morning.
Italy and Uruguay both suffered shock losses to Costa Rica and that means that only one of them will be able to join the North American-based underdogs in the second round of the 2014 World Cup.
Uruguay started their World Cup campaign with a flat performance against Costa Rica on June 14, with a 3-1 loss putting them on the verge of elimination, but they returned to a semblance of their best form with a 2-1 victory over England last Thursday.
The improvement in the Uruguay performance was largely down to the inclusion of star striker Luis Suarez, who scored both of his sides goals, and the Liverpool superstar will be the key player for his side once again tomorrow morning.
Uruguay look like a completely different team with Suarez on the pitch and it is his moments of individual brilliance that could be what his side need to break down the Italian defense that has conceded only two goals in the 2014 World Cup.
Italy looked like a team that was good enough to make a deep run when they beat England 2-1 in their opening fixture, with star playmaker Andrea Pirlo pulling the strings for his side in the midfield, but the side was particularly bad against Costa Rica.
Striker Mario Balotelli missed a number of opportunities and constantly turned over the football when pressing forward and the Italian attacking line was unable to string together more than three consecutive passes when they were chasing the game late in the second half.
There is very little between these two sides in the betting market at Ladbrokes.com.au; with Italy a narrow favourite at odds of $2.63.
Based on Italy’s performance against Costa Rica, there is no way that Italy represent value at those odds and the $2.75 on option for a Uruguay win as well as the odds of $3.25 available for the draw both represent betting value.
The $3.20 on offer for Uruguay to keep a clean sheet is another market that represents World Cup betting value and the $4.50 for Uruguay to win to nil is also worth a look.
Leading online bookmaker Ladbrokes.com.au is offering their headline offer on this key clash and it features two of football’s most controversial figures – Mario Balotelli and Luis Suarez.
They are offering odds of $3.5 for Suarez to score at any time and Uruguay to win the match, while $3.75 is on offer for Balotelli to score at any time and Italy to win the match.