Count on No Goals in Bern

  • By: Ben Linfoot
  • Last Updated: August 15 2012, 9:34 BST

England face Italy again, with much less on the line

1pt no goalscorer in England v Italy at 8/1 (Coral).

Even before the football season has officially kicked off we have a night of meaningless international friendlies and, to be frank, they're a betting nightmare.

Most players have been off for a couple of months so we have no idea on the form and fitness of individuals while it's anyone's guess which countries will be up for the challenges set in front of them.

England take on Italy in Switzerland, so at least we have some recent form to go on after the pair met in the Euro 2012 quarter-finals back in June (remember that? It was before the Olympics).

No goals were scored that night before the penalty shoot-out, mostly due to England's tactics which were defensive to say the least.

Mind you, Italy didn't seem to have a Plan B if their ball through to Mario Balotelli didn't work and the mercurial striker, who hit a brace in the semi-final, is out of this game with an eye infection.

Andrea Pirlo, Italy's player of the tournament at the Euros, is also expected to miss out.

England's team will be much different to the one that lined up in Kiev too, with Joe Hart definitely out and regulars like Ashley Cole also thought to be excused duty.

Expect fringe teams, substitutions and a pair of international coaches tinkering with their tactics in a bid to learn something, anything, from this pointless exercise.

It could be an exciting goal-fest with a load of youngsters pulling out all the stops as they play for their shirts, but I wouldn't bet on it.

With that in mind, we'll have the minimum of minimum stakes on no goalscorer at 8/1 with Coral.

Most layers go 6/1 and I wouldn't want to be going any bigger than that if I were a bookmaker.

  • Preview posted at 1610 BST on 13/08/2012.