France look a good bet to beat Italy in the Stadio San Nicola on Thursday night.
Italy v France - Thursday 20:00
After France’s hopes of lifting the Euro 2016 trophy in front of their own fans were ended in extra-time by Eder, of all people, Didier Deschamps will be eager to move on from that heartbreak and look ahead to the World Cup. His side face an Italian team that impressed at the Euros under the all-action Antonio Conte, but since he’s joined Chelsea, Torino manager Giampiero Ventura comes in to replace him.
However, Ventura is unlikely to be judged on his results in friendlies as the Italians are renowned for treating these games as exercises in not getting injured. Indeed, they’ve won only five of their 24 friendlies since 2012 and four of these victories came against sides we had ranked outside the world’s top-50.
France, on the other hand, have won seven of their last 11 away friendlies against sides ranked in the world’s top 25. What’s more, they have an excellent record against Italy having won seven of their last 11 meetings, including the last three friendlies.