Euro 2020: In-form Italy take on unfancied Austria in Round-16

Italy will be aiming to continue their fine form in Euro 2020 as they prepare to take on Austria but the Azzuri are in the midst of a 30-match unbeaten run in international football.

Roberto Manchini has rejuvenated the Italian squad after failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. Image credit: Twitter/Italy

After three out of three wins in group A, Italy has shown they are one of the strong favorites to win Euro 2020. Managed by Roberto Mancini, Italy is currently on a 30-match unbeaten run. It is a national record, and is arguably the most complete side in the competition. They face Austria, who are making their first-ever entry to the knockout stages. Austria recorded two victories and a loss and finished in 2nd spot in Group C.

Italy and Austria will meet for their round-16 battle at the Wembley Stadium in London on Sunday.

ITALY STRONG FAVOURTIES

Roberto Mancini has managed to keep the team’s momentum going despite making eight changes to the starting line-up. They finished with a 100 percent record, following back-to-back 3-0 victories over Turkey and Switzerland.

However, their prize for cruising through as winners of Group A is, they will face Belgium or Portugal in the next round should they progress, and then potentially France, Spain or Croatia in a semi-final.

Marco Verratti returned from injury for the final group match against Wales. He could challenge for a starting place after his impressive performance. However, Juventus centre-back Giorgio Chiellini and Roma right-back Alessandro Florenzi are both injury doubts. 

Austria’s Group C matches started with a comfortable 3-1 success against North Macedonia followed by a 2-0 defeat by the Dutch. They saved their best performance for when they truly needed it, dominating Ukraine and taking the three points through Christoph Baumgartner’s solitary goal. A similar display will be required against the inform Azzurri.

Franco Foda, Austria coach speaking to uefa.com: “In this phase of the tournament, there are no easy opponents. Italy haven’t lost for an eternity but perhaps there will come a time when they lose again. It will be important for us to prepare with focus and recover, then do everything we can in London. It will be tough but the team are eager and ready. I have a plan.”

PREDICTED XI:

Italy predicted XI (4-3-3): Gianluigi Donnarumma, Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Leonardo Bonucci, Alessandro Bastoni, Leonardo Spinazzola, Nicolo Barella, Jorginho, Manuel Locatelli, Domenico Berardi, Ciro Immobile, Lorenzo Insigne 

Austria predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Daniel Bachmann, Stefan Lainer, Aleksandar Dragovic, Martin Hinteregger, David Alaba, Xaver Schlager, Florian Grillitsch, Michael Gregoritsch, Marcel Sabitzer, Marko Arnautovic, Sasa Kalajdzic




WRITTEN BY
Sportslumo Desk

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