Italy will clash with Austria on Saturday, June 26, at Wembley Stadium in their first EURO 2020 knockout stage match. Having finished the group stage with a perfect record, Italy seem poised to win, but with injury concerns in the back and Austria’s switch to a more offensive-minded football, the Azzurri’s task might not be as straightforward as it may seem.
Italy vs Austria
When: Saturday, June 26 – 20:00 GMT
Where: Wembley Stadium in London, England
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 18°C
Referee: Anthony Taylor (ENG)
Italy finished at the top of Group A, with all nine points. As a result, they now get to play a team that finished in second place in Group C. The team in question is Austria, who won two and lost one game in the group stage.
Knowing that Italy have been the most dominant team at EURO 2020 so far – with a score difference of 7-0 – it’s no surprise that they’re coming into tonight’s game as favorites. Still, we’ve seen Austria pulling off some really decent performances, which suggest they could make things difficult for the Azzurri.
Can Italy Keep a Clean Sheet Once Again?
Italy have yet to concede a single goal at the EURO 2020, while their clean-sheet run extends all the way to November 2020. In fact, Roberto Mancini’s men haven’t allowed a single goal across their previous 11 games.
That might seem surprising to football fans. The reason is that Italy are a more attacking team than a defensive-minded one. They have had way more goal chances than their opponents in all of their EURO 2020 fixtures.
Looking back, Italy produced 24 goal attempts against Turkey, while the Crescent-Stars had only three. Against the Swiss, Italy created 13 goal attempts while allowing Switzerland to only six. A similar story happened in Italy’s game against Wales, where they produced 23 shots, allowing Wales to only three.
Italy are expected to dominate tonight; the question is whether they can keep their opponents away from their goal with the same efficiency Italy have shown throughout the group stage? It might happen, but it won’t be an easy task, considering injury concerns in the back.
Giorgio Chiellini might not make it into the starting XI as he’s been training separately for the past couple of days. It’s a similar case with Alessandro Florenzi, who’s only been training in the gym, not on the pitch.
Can Austria Replicate Their Showing Against Ukraine?
Ahead of their final game of the EURO 202 group phase, Austria weren’t expected to win. In fact, oddsmakers thought we’re going to see a draw (as it would have suited both sides), giving the odds as short as 2.10 on that outcome.
However, Das Team surprised everyone with their brilliant attacking-minded performance. They absolutely dominated that game from the very start, producing nearly four times as many goal attempts as Ukraine. One of those went in – Christoph Baumgartner scored the winner in the 21st minute.
Unfortunately, he’s now doubtful to appear in tonight’s match with Italy. Even worse, he’s not the only one. Martin Hinteregger and Julian Baumgartlinger are also doubtful.
Regardless, Austria has plenty of talented players in the team, especially in the final third. That’s where it’s fair to expect to see a lot from Marko Arnautovic, a former West Ham man who seems to be in a goal-scoring mood and could get a nod from Franco Foda.
Italy vs Austria Betting Picks
Sure, Italy are favoured to win this game, but the odds on that scenario seem too short (1.52). Instead, a much more appealing alternative is Over 2.5 Goals.
As both teams have shown they are lethal in the offence, we expect to see at least one goal per side tonight at Wembley.
Pick: Over 2.5 Goals – 2.25 SBO