Football Tips: Italy v Iceland Euro 2022 3 best bets – including an 8/1 shot

Our tipster Shane O'Brien trawls through Paddy's markets for Thursday's early game at Euro 2022.

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*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

Italy were tipped to qualify from Group D ahead of Iceland and Belgium before the start of the tournament, but a shocking 5-1 defeat against France on the opening day has left them reeling. It is hard to overstate how bad the Italians were in that opening half on Saturday as France raced into a 5-0 lead at the interval.

Milena Bertolini’s side seemed hell-bent on giving goals away in that opening period and will have to be much better if they are to claim a vital win against Iceland on Thursday.

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Iceland, on the other hand, got their Euro 2022 campaign off to a lukewarm start with a draw against an unfancied Belgium side.

However, both Italy and Iceland can put those disappointing opening games behind them and take a giant step towards the knockout stages with a win on Thursday night.

WHAT: UEFA Euro 2020, Group D – Italy v Iceland
WHEN: Thursday, July 14th, 5pm
WHERE: Manchester – Manchester City Academy Stadium
HOW TO WATCH: BBC Two, BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport Website

Short-priced punt: Italy to win

Italy need a reaction following Sunday’s embarrassing rout against France. Most expected the Italians to take second place in this group at the beginning of the tournament and they are still the second strongest team in D on paper, but the manner of their opening day defeat could easily derail their campaign.

Italy had gone seven games without defeat prior to that loss to France, including an impressive draw against pre-tournament favourites Spain. They need to rediscover that form ahead of Thursday’s clash with Iceland in order to reignite their campaign.

Meanwhile, Iceland can dump Italy out of the tournament with a win on Thursday, but they will have been disappointed by their inability to hold onto their one-goal lead on Sunday evening. Our selection need to deliver on Thursday, and they should just about have enough for an Italy Win.

Value Play: Italy to win & over 3.5 goals

Italy will struggle to keep a clean sheet if their first half performance against France is anything to go by. The French laid down a marker with a scintillating half of attacking football, but Italy undeniably made it easy for them.

They should improve defensively against a far less potent Iceland side but are unlikely to completely rectify their defensive woes. Iceland, meanwhile, conceded numerous goalscoring opportunities against Belgium and were arguably fortunate not to lose the game in the end. There should be goals on Thursday night and Italy will likely have to score at least twice to secure an all-important victory. Italy to Win and Over 3.5 Goals is my next play.

Want to know more about the two sides on show?

Long Shot: Cristiana Girelli to Score 2 or More Goals

Cristiana Girelli has been Italy’s go-to goalscorer for several years. The Juventus striker is top scorer in Italy’s World Cup qualifying group, with an impressive eight goals to her name after eight games.

The veteran forward has scored a respectable 46 goals in 78 international caps, scoring three goals at the 2019 World Cup. Like most of her teammates, Girelli struggled to make an impact in the French massacre and will surely be itching to make amends on Thursday night.

She is by far the most likely player to get amongst the goals and is good value to do so. She could open her Euros account in a high-scoring affair in Manchester and I’ll take Cristiana Girelli to Score 2 or More Goals as our punt at a bigger price.

Italy v Iceland tips

Short-priced punt: Italy to win
Value Play: Italy to win & over 3.5 goals
Long Shot: Cristiana Girelli to Score 2 or More Goals

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

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