Belgium knocked out the European Champions Portugal in the last 16 and now they have their sights set on reaching the semifinals. Italy dominated during their group but struggled against Austria and needed extra time to get a win.
European Championship 2020
Venue: Allianz Arena
Belgium have won all of their games so far, keeping clean sheets in three of those four fixtures, with the Red Devils knocking out reigning champions Portugal out of Euro 2020 thanks to a sublime goal from Thorgan Hazard.
It was a game were they were under pressure for long spells over the 90 minutes but they managed to hang on for the win. Belgium’s golden generation finally looks set to go the distance and win it all but they’ll need to get past an Italian side that are just clicking on all cylinders right now. It took something special to separate Belgium and Portugal; they’ll need something special again if they want to reach the semifinals.
For Italy, Roberto Mancini’s substitutes eventually got the job done against Austria, with Matteo Pessina and Federico Chiesa coming off the bench to score two goals for the Azurri in extra time.
That game finished goalless after 90 minutes before substitute Chiesa put Italy in front and Pessina grabbed a second ten minutes later in the first half of extra time. Italy weren’t one of the favorites to win the Euros but they now head into this game as the betting favorites over the number one ranked nation in the world and pre-tournament favorites.
Timothy Castagne remains on the sideline with an eye injury he picked up in their group opener while Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard picked up injuries against Portugal but look set to be ready to play against Italy.
Nacer Chadli & Simon Mignolet are also set to miss out on the match.
Italy have been without Alessandro Florenzi and Giorgio Chiellini due to injuries but both could be fit in time ahead of the tie against Belgium.
Belgium’s last five games: WWWWW
Italy’s last five games: WWWWW
Belgium’s winning streak has now stretched to 5 games and they’ve kept a clean sheet in four of the matches.
Appearing in their fourth consecutive European Championship quarter-final, Italy’s three previous quarter-finals appearances all went to penalties (W1 L2).
When these two countries last met, at Euro 2016, Italy claimed a 2-0 win. Four of Belgium’s last six international matches have witnessed fewer than three goals being scored and Italy have always been known for having a strong defence.
Mancini’s men conceded a goal for the first time in 12 matches during their game against Austria but even then, they kept a clean sheet during the initial 90-minutes. It’s very likely to be a cagey affair between the two countries and no one would want to give anything away. Bet on Under 2.5 goals at 11/20.