It’s Italy vs England tonight as both nations begin their Euro 2024 qualifying campaigns live on Channel 4 at 7:45pm. There’ll be a lot of interest in bet builders, so I’ve done a deep dive into the predicted teams and noted the best players for fouls and cards.
If you’re having a bet builder, you might want to place it with Betfair as they’ve got their bet £5 and get £5 offer on tonight. That means you could get a free bet for England vs Ukraine on Sunday evening.
1.57 for 2+ fouls and 2.30 for a card.
The PSG midfielder is like a terrier in midfield, always chipping away at the ankles of opponents. He averages 1.25 fouls P/90 for Italy and is generally been synonymous with fouls and cards throughout his career.
1.36 for 1+ fouls, 2.80 for 2+ and 2.88 for a card.
Barella will play alongside Verratti in central midfield, and he’s a very similar type of player in the sense that he chips away at opponents too.
He’s up against Jude Bellingham who’s been fouled at least twice in four of his last five matches, I can certainly see Barella being the reason for him potentially hitting the deck this evening.
Giovanni Di Lorenzo
1.33 for 1+ fouls, 2.63 for 2+ and 4.50 for a card.
Very interesting one this and I’m likely to include him in my own bet tonight.
Right-back Di Lorenzo is up against Jack Grealish who was fouled 6.25 times per 90 minutes whilst playing for England in 2022. The pair have history as Di Lorenzo was booked for a late challenge on Grealish when Italy hosted England in the Nations League back in September.
Grealish is Man City’s most fouled player having been brought down 60 times so far this season. To put that into perspective, Riyad Mahrez is next in the list on 24.
1.25 for 1+ fouls, 2.38 for 2+ and 6.50 for a card.
The other full-back for Italy should be Leonardo Spinazzola on the left hand side. He’s up against Bukayo Saka who’s flying this season and another cracking player when it comes to drawing fouls out of an opponent.
Saka is fouled 1.97 times P/90 when playing for England
1.25 for 1+ fouls, 2.20 for 2+ and 4.50 for a card.
Jude Bellingham is a generational talent and one of the best midfielders in the world at 19-years-old. And one of his attributes is that he loves a crunching tackle.
Bellingham averaged 1.30 fouls P/90 for England in 2022, and he committed two fouls when England travelled to Italy in September. Only Eric Dier gave away more.
He’s committed at least one foul in 12 of his last 14 appearances in all competitions, and he’ll be in a thrilling battle with Verratti and Barella all evening.
1.44 for 1+ fouls, 3.10 for 2+ and 5.0 for a card.
Declan Rice is another midfielder who’s extremely talented while not being shy when it comes to committing fouls.
He gave away three fouls across the two meetings with Italy in the Nations League, and he’ll be in the trenches with Bellingham as they look to stop Verratti and Barella in that midfield area.
1.44 for 1+ fouls, 3.25 for 2+ and 3.75 for a card.
Harry Maguire looks like excellent value for a foul or two. He’s another who committed a foul in both Nations League meetings with Italy.
He’s solid for England in fairness, but he’s always capable of something clumsy. He could be up against Scamacca who’s a handful or the emerging Mateo Retegui who’s strong on the ball and draws 1.63 fouls P/90 for Tigre in Argentina.
The good thing about Maguire fouls is that he’s a huge threat from set-pieces. That means from every corner/dangerous free-kick, there’s a chance that he could simply climb on an opponent.
1.30 for 1+ fouls, 2.40 for 2+ and 4.0 for a card.
Last but not least, Luke Shaw at left-back for England could be someone who ends up in difficult situations and has to bring down his opponent.
It’s likely that he’ll be up against Sassuolo’s Domenico Berardi who’s a tricky customer. Berardi was one of Italy’s most fouled players in 2022, and he was fouled at a rate of 2.38 times P/90.