Friendly, Parma, 7.45pm (postponed due to earthquake)
WITH a major tournament just around the corner Italian football is once again embroiled in scandal.
Fourteen people were arrested for alleged match fixing yesterday, including young defender Domenico Criscito who was pulled out of the Euro 2012 squad.
His room at Italy’s training HQ was searched by cops and the incident cast another shadow over the Italian game.
Whether it will have any effect on the country's display at Poland and Ukraine we'll have to see although there haven't been too many takers for Italy on the outrights.
Italy will try to put the focus back on the pitch tonight with a friendly against Luzembourg. Cesar Prandelli will be hoping for an easy warm-up win and should get it even though Luxembourg have been improving under Luc Holtz whose side recently beat Macedonia and Albania.
However, Italy have to win this in light of what happened last night but they are no bigger than 1-14 at William Hill. Luxembourg are 34-1 at unibet with the draw paying 11-1 with Paddy Power and BetVictor.
At those odds we have to scramble about looking for value and even with their problems the Italians should be able to win by more than two. Minus two they are 8-11 at bet365 while you can have 8-13 with Paddy Power and bet365 on Italy to win both halves.
Although Luxembourg have stopped conceding as many as they did previously they don't score many so look Italy to win to nil at 4-9 with Skybet and bet365. In six previous meetings of the countries it's been 19-1 to Italy on aggregate but they haven't played since 1981.
Check starting line-ups before having a first-scorer punt. Recalled Mario Balotelli and Antonio di Natale are the 5-2 favourites at Paddy Power.
Tonight's other friendly involving Euro finalists sees Russia face an inexperienced and weakened Lithuania in Switzerland. Again the advice is to try to see the teams before betting but on the face of it this must be win for Dick Advocaat's men.
However, the Russians are a best 1-3 at Coral so if I like the line-ups I'll go for 5-6 Russia minus one at Paddy Power.
Italy to win to nil
(4-9, Skybet, bet365)
(5-6, Paddy Power)