Italy vs Austria Euro 2020 Prediction, Odds, Betting Tips
- Italy have arguably been the most impressive performers at Euro 2020 so far
- Austria were underwhelming in their first two games but belatedly came alive
- It is hard to look past another comfortable win for the in-form Italians
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Italy vs Austria Odds
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Italy vs Austria Pick
Back Italy to be winning at half-time and full-time. The Azzurri have won all three games to date without conceding a goal, and their intense, energetic soccer will surely prove too much for an Austria side that disappointed in its first two outings of the competition.
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How to Watch Italy vs Austria
|Italy vs Austria Information|
|Teams||Italy vs Austria|
|Location||Wembley Stadium, London, England|
|Time||Saturday, 26 June 2021, 15.00 PM EDT|
|How to watch||ESPN|
Italy the Team of the Tournament With Mancini Leading the Way
Italy were seen as outsider to win Euro 2020 before the action got underway on June 11. But their display in that curtain-raising fixture, as well as in their two subsequent matches, has seen the odds on an Italian triumph tumble. The Azzurri have played the best soccer of the tournament to date, and many now fancy Roberto Mancini’s men to go all the way. A winnable tie against Austria in the last 16 has done nothing to dampen the enthusiasm around the three-time European champions.
Italy kicked off Euro 2020 with a bang. They brushed Turkey aside in a 3-0 win, outsmarting, outrunning and outplaying their insipid opponents in front of thousands of Italian fans inside Rome’s Stadio Olimpico. The same venue witnessed an equally complete performance in the 3-0 triumph over Switzerland a few days later. Mancini heavily rotated his team for the final group game against Wales, but no matter: Italy won 1-0, making it nine points from nine and no goals conceded.
Italy’s run of clean sheets now stretches to 11 games. This is a nation that has prided itself on its defensive solidity down the years, but the method is vastly different this time around. Where once Italy teams sat deep and looked to spoil, Mancini’s iteration delights in taking the game to the opposition. They play proactive soccer, pressing high up the pitch and never allowing the other team to settle on the ball. It is a very modern strategy, and one which has made Italy look more like a top-level club team so far.
That is a huge compliment. International managers have comparatively little time with their players, so it is harder to produce a coherent team. Mancini has managed it, though. A technically gifted midfield trio of Jorginho, Nicolo Barella and either Marco Verratti or Manuel Locatelli circulates the ball at will. Ciro Immobile has led the line adeptly; Lorenzo Insigne and Domenico Berardi have been sharp out wide; and the defense, centered around Leonardo Bonucci, has kept opponents at arm’s length. So far, so excellent.
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New System Works Wonders for Austria but Will It Be Enough?
Austria found themselves in a precarious position on the final matchday of the group phase. Only a win would guarantee them a place in the round of 16, and they were playing a Ukraine team that were themselves looking to secure a place in the knockout stage. Given how poorly Austria had performed in a 2-0 loss to the Netherlands, many fancied Ukraine to get the job done.
Instead, Austria delivered their best display of the tournament so far. Franco Foda ditched his 3-5-1-1 formation and opted for a 4-2-3-1. Crucially, this saw David Alaba – Austria’s star player who will join Real Madrid on July 1 – redeployed at left-back, having previously been used in the center of a three-man backline. Alaba was always constrained in that position, and his switch to the left-hand side allowed him to take up attacking positions when Austria had the ball.
Foda’s side won 1-0, but the margin of victory should have been wider. Optimism has now been restored to the Austria camp, even though they recognize they are massive underdogs for Saturday’s game. Still, in Alaba, Marcel Sabitzer and Marko Arnautovic, there are talented players within the Austrian ranks. If they perform like they did against Ukraine, Foda’s side have a chance of an upset.
Italy Will Come Flying Out the Traps and Should Cruise to Victory
There is a key difference, though. Against Ukraine, Austria played on the front and overwhelmed their opponents with their intensity and tempo. They will not be able to do the same against Italy, who will dominate possession and push Austria back. Foda’s side lack pace, and that will hamper their efforts to transition quickly from back to front. They may also struggle to beat Italy’s aggressive press, which will only aid the Azzurri’s attempt to keep Austria far from their goal.
Italy made fast starts in their first two games of the tournament when Mancini picked the strongest XI available to him. They took the lead against Switzerland in the 26th minute, and while the breakthrough against Turkey did not come until after half-time, Italy had several good chances to score before the interval.
Italy will want to set the tempo from the first whistle on Saturday, and Austria will have to withstand substantial early pressure. Their best chance will be trying to keep the score at 0-0 for as long as possible, and then hoping that Italy grow nervous as time wears on. Mancini will be wary of such a scenario developing and will encourage his team to get the first goal early on. For that reason, back an Italy win at half-time and full-time.