Italy U21 v Netherlands U21: Insigne to notch on return

15Jun 2013


The second semi-final sees two of Europe's powerhouses collide. Christian Crowther deciphers what will happen...

Italy U21 v Netherlands U21, Saturday 19:30, Sky Sports 2, Match Odds: Italy U21 2.72, Netherlands U21 2.88, The Draw 3.4

Italy remain unbeaten at the finals, though they did need an equaliser deep into stoppage time to ensure that they drew with Norway and topped Group A.

However, many of the Italian players who had previously seen England off with relative ease before swatting aside Israel were given a rest in preparation for the semi-finals.

Opponents Netherlands, meanwhile, were brought back to earth with a thud by favourites Spain in their last group game.

Again, the Jong Oranje were tempted into making sweeping changes to their starting line-up for that match, as their own passage to the last four had been confirmed by two similar opening results to the Italians - over Germany and Russia respectively.

So, the line-ups for both sides should resemble those of the earlier games at the tournament, meaning all the big guns return to contest this clash.

Italy have already laid down a marker against the Dutch as recently as last August when three first-half goals took the Azzurrini out of sight before the oranges were served as the game finished 3-0.

Although nearly a year has passed since that particular clash, it will still be reasonably fresh in the Netherlands' consciousness and could weigh against them when kick-off comes around.

Still, the final result does remains a hard one to call as both sides are likely to be brimming with senior international experience.

The duo's group stage statistics are incredibly similar and it could be that extra time is required to settle this semi.

To Score

Italy will be boosted by the return of star forward Lorenzo Insigne after the Napoli man was forced out of their second game against Israel. England's conqueror was on the scoresheet the last time these sides clashed and, with seven goals in just 12 appearances for the Azzurrini, is a good shout to return to scoring ways.

Half With The Most Goals

Both sides have generally left their scoring until the second 45 during the finals so far. 67% of the Azzurrini's goals have arrived in the second period, while they've twice left it until the last 12 minutes to score. Meanwhile, the Dutch have also displayed a penchant for a second-half goal, smashing in five of their eight after break.

Best Bet: Back Lorenzo Insigne to score @ 4.5
Other Recommended bet: Back the second half to contain more goals @ 2.3


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Keywords: Italy U21, Netherlands U21, Insigne

Source: Betfair

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