The team has emerged in the top tier of tournament’s favourites, Italy meet unfancied Austria at Wembley on Saturday in the final 16 games of Euro 2020.
As the Azzurri’s dazzling beginning to the tournament has been unbeaten for a record-breaking time however, the Austrians are in knockouts in the very first time and have finally ended their Euros absence with two group-stage victories.
The pressure of keeping expectations under control could be the most challenging task for Italy as they enter the final phases of this summer’s European Championships, as an 11th consecutive win the last time they played has helped them extend their undefeated streak thirty games. Setting a record for the nation established in 1930 during the legendary coaching of Vittorio Pozzo, the 1-0 win against Wales did not come as a compensation for their shadow side’s total dominance last Sunday.
Roberto Mancini has managed to maintain his team’s momentum despite massive changes – eight players from the original starting XI being eliminated – to score maximum points in a row, following back-to back victory 3-0 against Turkey as well as Switzerland.
But, the reward for making it through as the group A winners is a spot in the more difficult part of the draw because they’ll have to face Belgium as well as Portugal for the second round should they make it to the semi-finals to the next round, which could then be France, Spain or Croatia in the semi-final.
In the first place, La Nazionale must leave their Roman home in Stadio Olimpico to meet Austria on neutral ground. But, they’ll head north with the confidence that they have never lost to Austria. Italian team has ever lost against their neighbors since 1960, and have been crowned winners in all of the nations in the four major tournaments.
But to concede an goal in the tournament and a united team with the substitute goalie Salvatore Sirgu is given some minutes have proved to be to be a fun experience for non-coach fans, but have they also showed they’re solid in the back. The last time Italy was unable to keep the score clean was during an 1-1 draw against the Netherlands in October last year, which was more than 1,000 minutes ago.
The four-time champions of the world have achieved ten consecutive wins for only their second win in legendary history , with the first streak was during qualifying . They’ve not been beaten since 2018. They they are primed to beat their Alpine rivals this weekend.
With odds already stacked against them because of an unresolved gap in the world rankings and historical stature, Austria will potentially tackle their first knockout match during European Championship history with few enthusiastic fans in the ‘home for football’.
In the past month, their soccer association advised supporters not to go to London for the game against Italy following their unsuccessfully attempted to have the game moved to England because of safety and health concerns.
In addition, there is the requirement to have a quarantine for Austrians who travel between and to London The chance that Das Team being roared on by thousands of fans who are hungry for success could be diminished, however they’ll at least get at the airport having met the challenge of winning the confines of Group C by defeating Ukraine the last time they played.
Although Austria could have qualified with their opponents if they had been drawn, they were deservedly beaten with more than Christoph Baumgartner‘s first-half goal that left head coach Franco Foda excited over his team’s incredible feat.
After the game, Foda noted that his team was driven “to write history” and get through the initial section of major competitions for the very first time after the 1982 World Cup campaign.
In reality that previous West Germany international has hardly made a mistake during his time at the helm, managing his Austrians towards League A promotion in the Nations League and through the Euro 2020 qualifiers since his appointment at the beginning of the year.
The Mainz-born tactician is now leading his countrymen in an intriguing last-16 game but is still trying to get his most popular player David Alaba an undisputed place in the team.
Whatever he does the 29-year-old from Real Madrid is well-known for his versatility, which can see him play as left-back as well as in central midfield, and on both flanks – is crucial to Austria’s chances of creating a major shock on Saturday night. After having experienced Wembley glory before in 2013 when Bayern defeated Dortmund at Wembley in the Champions League final, the captain’s presence might suffice to help keep his Austrian dreams alive.
Although Italy have managed to maintain a strong run of games without losing, their defensive plans will likely to be slowed by injuries on Saturday, when Captain Giorgio Chiellini was able to train separately from other players throughout the week. Back-up Alessandro Florence can only do workouts on his own, which means neither player is likely to be in good enough shape to take on Austria.
Thus, Giovanni Di Lorenzo is likely to beat atalanta’s Rafael Toloi to start on the right side of the back four and either Alessandro Bastoni or Francesco Acerbi as well as Leonardo Bonucci in the centre.
Roberto Mancini also has a midfield dilemma with regards to his selection because Marco Verratti confirmed his return from a knee injury during the victory against Wales but Sassuolo’s in-demand player Manuel Locatelli was a regular in the opening two games. There is only one player who can play in the central triumvirate along with certain players Jorginho as well as Nicolo Barella.
On the front, Ciro Immobile, Domenico Berardi and Lorenzo Insigne are the favoured trio, although Federico Chiesa was named UEFA’s “Star of the Match’ against Wales and should hope to get an opportunity to play during the second half.
However, Austria’s line-up isn’t a certain thing as Coach Franco Foda successfully ditched his earlier back three against Ukraine and allowed David Alaba to get forward more often from left-back.
The formation of 4-2-3-1 in Bucharest also witnessed the controversial player Marko Arnautovic being recalled following an unspecified ban of one match for insulting a player, however, it remains to ascertained if they’ll be brave enough to continue with a different formation.
Julian Baumgartlinger, Martin Hinteregger and Valentino Lazaro are all injured prior to the trip to England So Foda may decide to include Stefan Ilsanker into the XI and then switch to a three-man rearguard including Alaba returning to the central defense.
The midfielder Christoph Baumgartner is fit to start following an injury to his head in the match against Sweden and should therefore start with RB Leipzig star Marcel Sabitzer to support one striker Arnautovic.
Italy potential starting line-up: Donnarumma; Di Lorenzo, Acerbi, Bonucci, Spinazzola; Barella, Jorginho, Verratti; Berardi, Immobile, Insigne
Austria possible starting lineup: Bachmann; Lainer, Dragovic, Hinteregger, Alaba; Laimer, Grillitsch, X. Schlager; Sabitzer, Baumgartner; Arnautovic
We’re saying: Italy 2-0 Austria
It is certain that the focus to be focused on Italy to make opportunities and control the pace against opponents who are sloppy however, they are proficient at probing with patience and striking with a high degree of precision.
Even even if Austria will be unable to stop these for the initial 30 minutes or more however, the Azzurri could switch to the sluggish winger Federico Chiesa who can be the difference between the bench, which will make progress at the final.
Sporita.com’s expert tipsters Sporita.com are predicting more than 1.5 goals in this game. Go here to see the other predictions they have for this game , and to find additional tried and tested football advice.
Our analysis of all the available data that we could find, including the most recent performance and player statistics up to one hour prior to kickoff, indicated that an outcome that was most probable for this game was an Italy victory with an odds of 48.23 percent. A victory against Austria was the probability of 27.71 percent while a draw was an odds of 24.1 percent.
A most probable scoreline in an Italy victory would be 1-1 with a likelihood of 9.48 percent. The other most likely scorelines for the result are 1-0 (9.28 percent) and 2-0 (7.79 percent). The most likely Austria winning score was 1-1 (6.86 percent), while for the draw, that resulted in 1-1 (11.28 percent).