Current Cup holder Italy was far from convincing in the qualifying tournament, needing a late equalizer against the Irish to avoid the uncertain fate that comes with the playoffs. The Azzurri couldn't beat Ireland over two legs and is a notoriously slow World Cup starter to boot. Still, so overmatched are each of its opponents in Group F that a failure by Italy to win the group would beggar belief. There's no chance that New Zealand and Slovakia will trouble the reigning champs, and even if they drop points against Paraguay, Italy should still win the group with ease.
Predicted Finishing Order
1. Italy 2. Paraguay 3. Slovakia 4. New Zealand
Next Group G