Euro 2020: Who will go through to the last 16 as Group A winners - Italy or Wales?

Italy are already through to the last 16 but will be aiming to secure the top spot in Group A, whereas Wales need just a point to go through.

Italy are on a roll so far in Euro 2020. (Credit: Twitter/@chiellini)

Wales travel to Rome needing just a point against Italy to ensure qualification to the Euro 2020 knockouts. Italy have already secured their spot in the last 16 with two consecutive 3-0 victories against Turkey and Switzerland. However they would be aiming to go through to the next round with a perfect record and as group winners.

Wales were fortunate to earn a point against Switzerland in their first game. However, they put in a superb performance to defeat Turkey in the previous match. Rob Page’s side are now placed second in the group, two points behind leaders Italy who have six. Italy on the other hand are on a run of 29 games unbeaten. Roberto Mancini’s side are a well oiled machine with no real weakness. They are yet to concede a goal this year. A point will guarantee both teams qualification as number one and two teams from the group.

Mancini would be tempted to rest some of his players against the Dragons. Captain Gianluigi Chiellini who picked up a knock in the previous game is likely to be rested today. Therefore Franscesco Acerbi who came in for Chiellini in the 24th minute of last game will start this time around alongside Leonardo Bonucci in the central defence. Meanwhile Di Lorenzo and Spinazzola will occupy the wing-back position. 

Bernardeschi, Belotti and Federico Chiesa might come in instead of Insigne, Immobile and Berardi at the forward line just to check the bench strength and freshen up things a bit. Whereas Marco Verratti, who has recovered from an injury is reported to be fit to start therefore might come in ahead of last match’s hero Locatelli.

Can Wales pull off surprise Euro 2020 win?

On the other hand, it will be interesting to see what tactics the Wales boss deploys. He surprised everyone with their 4-1-4-1 formation in the previous game, because usually they play with three at the back.

Page might be a bit confused whether to go for the win or try and squeeze out a point at Stadio Olimpico. Trying to sit back against a team like Italy would play the game into their hands as seen in the Euro 2020 opening game against Turkey.

As it is said, attack is the best form of defence, therefore the caretaker manager should go with the positive intent. Gareth Bale and Daniel James are going to be the key players going forward because of their extreme pace. The Italian wing-backs are very attack minded therefore Bale and James will surely get space to exploit down the flanks.

The 1.96m tall Kieffer Moore is going to be the marksman up front, If the wingers can deliver quality balls into the box, he can get at the end of it with his physical prowess. Juventus midfielder Aaron Ramsey who scored the first goal against Turkey will have to keep things tight at the middle of the park along with Allen and Joe Morrell.

The backline is likely to be unchanged from last game. However if Page wants to play three at the back Neco Williams could come in.

It’s going to be a fascinating battle at Rome to decide the group winners. Italy are surely the better side and are on an impressive run of form. They have literally demolished everyone opponent so far. Meanwhile last time’s semi-finalists, on their day, are capable of upsetting the even the best team in the world.




WRITTEN BY
Sportslumo Desk

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