International Friendlies: Italy can trouble French defence
Dan Fitch takes a look at four Friday friendlies and is expecting Roberto Mancini's Italy to score against France...
"Mario Balotelli was signed by Manchester City during Mancini’s time at the club and marked his return to the international stage by scoring the opening goal against Saudi Arabia."
Another stalemate for draw specialists Australia
Czech Republic [2.5] v Australia [3.1]; The Draw [3.35]
Friday June 1, 12:00
World Cup qualifiers Australia face a Czech Republic side that finished third in their qualifying group and missed out on a play-off spot.
Australia beat Honduras in their own play-off to book their place at the World Cup, but in their first friendly after qualifying they were beaten 4-1 by Norway, a nation that the Czechs finished above in their group.
The Socceroos bounced back with a draw against fellow World Cup qualifiers Colombia in their most recent outing. Four of Australia's last six matches have been level after 90 minutes and another draw looks nicely priced in a friendly match played at a neutral venue.
Koreans will win on home soil
South Korea [1.97] v Bosnia [4.4]; The Draw [3.25]
Friday June 1, 12:00
While Australia have already made the trip to Europe in preparation for the World Cup, fellow Asian qualifiers South Korea are still at home and preparing for their friendly against Bosnia in Jeonju.
That home advantage could prove to be crucial. South Korea ran out as 2-0 winners against Honduras on Monday, with the Tottenham forward Heung-Min Son scoring a spectacular opener. It was Son's 21st goal for his country in 64 appearances.
Since Bosnia's unsuccessful World Cup qualifying campaign came to an end they have only won one of their subsequent five friendly matches. South Korea are unbeaten in their last seven home matches, which included wins of European nations in Moldova and Latvia. They look a good price at [1.97] to leave Korean soil with another morale boosting victory.
Revitalised Italians will score
France [1.71] v Italy [5.9]; The Draw [3.65]
Friday June 1, 20:00
France are preparing for the World Cup with a series of home friendlies against competitive nations that failed to qualify for the tournament. They beat the Republic of Ireland 2-0 on Monday and now host Italy, who are perhaps the strongest available opposition that won't be in Russia this summer.
The Italians played their first game under their new manager Roberto Mancini on Monday, beating Saudi Arabia 2-1. Mancini has picked a fresh, youthful squad for the end of season friendlies, which includes a player he knows very well. Mario Balotelli was signed by Manchester City during Mancini's time at the club and marked his return to the international stage by scoring the opening goal.
Balotelli will certainly feel at home in this game as it will be played at the stadium of his current club Nice. With another Italian striker Andrea Belotti also having found the net against Saudi Arabia, Mancini's side could trouble a French defence that have conceded six goals in their last four games. Back both teams to score at [2.1].
Colombia will take advantage of Salah injury
Egypt [5.2] v Colombia [1.5]; The Draw [3.1]
Friday June 1, 20:15
Egypt have announced the welcome news that their star player Mohamed Salah will be fit to go to the World Cup, but he certainly won't be available to face Colombia.
With Salah having picked up a shoulder injury in the Champions League final, Egypt played without him when they took on Kuwait and laboured to a 1-1 draw in which they had to come from behind. Other than Salah, the Egyptians have no reliable goalscorers to call upon and look an ordinary side, rather than a dangerous one.
Colombia finished fourth in a very competitive South American qualifying group and in the last year have played a trio of the top contenders to win the World Cup in the shape of Brazil, Spain and France, yet remained unbeaten against them (W1 D2). Back Colombia to win to nil at [2.2].
Back the draw between Czech Republic and Australia at [3.35]
Back South Korea to win at [1.97]
Back both France and Italy to score at [2.1]
Back Colombia to win to nil at [2.2]