ITALY are plotting to beat Austria for the seventeenth time in their history as they bid to win their second European Championship.
The 2012 finalists present a formidable challenge to their rivals this evening with Roberto Mancini's aces yet to concede a goal in the tournament.
The duel between the Azzurri and Franco Foder’s stars will take place tonight at Wembley Stadium.
And their clash will be aired on BBC1 from 8pm.
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What’s the form?
Mancini’s players will be buoyed by their red hot run in Group A.
They sealed maximum points from their first three games scoring seven goals.
And Italy enjoyed more than 60 per cent of possession last time out during their 1-0 win against Wales.
Marco Verratti was at the heart of Italy's dominant display against Wales pulling the strings for the team in midfield.
And the majestic Paris Saint-Germain ace could be in contention for a start against Austria.
Meanwhile, Austria skippered by Real Madrid summer signing David Alaba, won two of their opening three clashes in the tournament.
And the team have lost four of their last 14 games international stage.
Defeats include a 2-0 loss to the Netherlands in their second group stage encounter of this tournament.
We’ve all seen how Italy played in the group stages. But we are here to dream and I believe anything is possible in football.
Who’s in and who’s out
Reports claim Giorgio Chiellini is unlikely to be fit to start for Italy after sustaining a muscle injury during their 3-0 defeat of Switzerland.
The Juventus centre-back, 36, was spotted training separately to his team-mates.
It is also thought Alessandro Florenzi, 30, could be unavailable for selection with the full-back still recovering from a calf injury picked up during his team’s clash with Turkey.
And Austria’s Christoph Baumgartner is likely to be unavailable after going off with a head injury during his side’s win against Ukraine.
The striker, 21, netted his team’s only goal against Andriy Shevchenko’s side.
However Austria will be able to call upon the services of Marko Arnautovic.
The Shanghai Port striker, who played for West Ham from 2017 to 2019, can return to action following a one-match ban for “insulting another player”.
Watch out for…..
Nicolo Barella. The Inter Milan star, 24, has been turning heads with his performances for club and country with some pundits in Italy describing him as the best midfielder in Europe.
And Chelsea ace Jorginho believes his compatriot’s style of play is similar to that of Blues midfield dynamo N’Golo Kante.
Barella set up Manuel Locatelli’s second goal in their impressive win against Switzerland.
In this phase of the tournament, there are no easy opponents. We know that. Italy haven’t lost for an eternity, but perhaps there will come a time when they lose again.
Franco Foda – Austria manager
If the game’s rubbish
Jessica Melena is likely to be cheering on her partner Ciro Immobile, 31, as he bids to help Italy triumph in the tournament.
The 30-year-old, who has a degree in criminology and forensics, has been living with the Lazio forward since 2012.
And the couple have three children together.
Fancy a punt?
Get all your Euro 2020 ante-post tips with our tournament betting guide HERE.
- Ciro Immobile to be first goalscorer 7/2 @ Betfair
- Italy to win 2-0 5/1 @ Betfair
- Manuel Locatelli to score 8/1 @ Betfair
*All odds correct at time of publication.
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