South Africa and Italy conclude their group-stage campaigns on Wednesday, with both teams still able to qualify for the knockout stages of the Women’s World Cup.
Sweden currently top Group G, three points ahead of Italy in second. while South Africa sit third after collecting just one point, level with Argentina.
Italy and South Africa still have lots to play for at the Wellington Regional Stadium, and it promises to be a lively affair at 08:00.
South Africa captain Refiloe Jane is expected to miss Wednesday’s tie, having been stretchered off in the first-half against Argentina.
Kholosa Biyana replaced Jane in the 2-2 draw, but she is suspended, meaning coach Desiree Ellis needs to tweak her starting XI.
After watching her side lose 5-0 to Sweden, Milena Berolini may be tempted to make changes, with Giada Greggi and Valentina Giacinti expected to start.
Italy to win @ 3/5
South Africa have been a little unlucky so far this summer, and they arguably should have more than one point from their first two matches.
They took the lead in both games against Sweden and Argentina, but they were beaten by the former and had to settle for a 2-2 draw against the South Americans.
They need to win to stand any chance of progressing, but they will struggle without both Jane and Biyana.
Italy’s humbling defeat to Sweden will be a lesson for Bertolini’s side, but it is the first time they have conceded more than one goal since February.
South Africa have shown they have potential, but Le Azzurre have the superior squad and should secure the victory.
Over 2.5 goals @ 5/6
South Africa have to go for broke on Wednesday, and while that means we could be in for a more lively contest, it also leaves them exposed.
Over 2.5 goals has landed in four of South Africa’s last five matches, which is a stark contrast to Italy’s fortunes.
Three of Italy’s previous five games contained fewer than 1.5 goals, but Wednesday’s tie is the biggest of those battles.
Their weaknesses were exposed in their 5-0 defeat to Sweden, and while South Africa’s attack is not as potent, they may still enjoy some success.
South Africa will feel like they have not had the rub of the green, so expect them to go down fighting in front of a passionate crowd.