Belgium and Italy will clash on Friday, July 2, at Allianz Arena in the second EURO 2020 quarter-finals bout. These sides last met back in 2016, when Italy won 2-0, with Belgium securing a 3-1 victory a year prior.
Belgium vs Italy
When: Friday, July 2 – 21:00 CEST
Where: Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany
Weather: Clear, 16°C
Referee: Slavko Vinčić (SLO)
Belgium are without a defeat since October 2020. Italy’s unbeaten run stretches even further back – the last time they lost a game was in September 2018. That translates to a streak of 28 consecutive wins, which they will hope to keep intact after tonight’s clash.
Both Belgium and Italy have been pretty impressive so far in EURO 2020. Belgium have won every single game within 90 minutes, allowing only one goal along the way. Italy are still without a conceded goal in regular time, although they did allow one in extra time against Austria last time out.
Both teams have been doing an excellent job in the final third as well, which promises an entertaining game tonight.
De Bruyne and Hazard Remain Doubtful
Kevin de Bruyne and Eden Hazard picked up injuries in Belgium’s match against Portugal in Round of 16. Even though only a few hours separate us from the kick-off, it’s still unclear whether either of the two will fit the clash with Italy.
The most probable scenario is that they will start on the bench and enter the game later on if needed. Although missing two key men could mean trouble for Belgium, that likely won’t be the case.
Roberto Martinez has a very long bench at his disposal, which he has been using very effectively throughout the tournament. Out of 24 players he has available, all featured in at least one game, which suggests that he should have replacements ready if things go sour for Hazard and de Bruyne.
Chiellini and Florenzi Doubtful for Italy
Center-back Giorgio Chiellini has been training separately but has returned to train with the team and is expected to feature in Italy’s starting XI tonight. Similarly, Italy’s right-back Alessandro Florenzi has been training only in the gym but has returned with the squad, although it’s unclear whether he will get put onto the field today.
Like the Red Devils, Roberto Mancini has plenty of players at his disposal, ready to step in as replacements for their injured teammates. That’s not what’s worrying them ahead of tonight’s clash. Their main worry is that they haven’t played against such a strong opponent as Belgium in a while.
At the EURO 2020, Italy played against Turkey, Switzerland, and Wales in the group stage, winning all those games without any issues.
In the knockout stage, Italy faced Austria, who proved to be a much tougher opponent than expected. Italy ended up winning in extra time (2-1), but they had to work a bit harder than in their previous bouts.
Belgium vs Italy Betting Picks
In the game against Portugal, Belgium played with three centre-backs with an average age of 33.6. In the game against Austria, Italy’s back duo had an average age of 33.5.
Both teams have ageing defenders who aren’t very fast. At the same time, both teams have some super-fast forwards who could easily outrun the opposition defence. Belgium have Lukaku, Martens, and Hazard (whether it’s Thorgan or Eden); Italy have Insigne, Chiesa, Berardi, and a few others.
With that in mind, it’s only logical to assume the pacey strikers will find holes in opponents’ defence and produce a few goals. At least two, is our prediction.
Pick: Over 2.00 Goals
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