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EURO 2020 PREVIEW: ITALY vs AUSTRIA

Euro Cup

Austria’s first visit to the knockout phase of the European Championships will be a stern test when they face the in-form Italians at Wembley Stadium.

Saturday’s second game – you can read our Wales vs Denmark preview HERE– provides the Azzurri with another opportunity to show their progress under Roberto Mancini.

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The former Manchester City mentor oversaw Italy’s flawless group stage with glee – no goals conceded and three victories have announced them as the team to beat.

And there’s not much good news for the opposition as Italy’s final group stage win – over qualified Wales – came with eight changes. It also earned Mancini’s men their 11th win in a row and extended their undefeated streak to 30 games.

Mancini will need to figure out a defensive replacement for right back Alessandro Florenzi with captain n Giorgio Chiellini also an unlikely starter.

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But that’s where the woes end for Italy in looking to present their strongest XI with a real battle for places in midfield and in the attacking trio.  Federico Chiesa was brilliant in a rare start and may nudge one of  Ciro Immobile, Domenico Berardi and Lorenzo Insigne out of the run-on side.

David Alaba, who has played in a number of positions for Austria, is likely to return to centre back in a more defense-minded lineup for this key match.

Austria’s record is woeful in ties between these two sides … since 1960 the Austrians have lost 10 and drawn three matches without a single win. The last fixture – albeit a friendly – was in 2008 and ended in a 2-2 draw.

The winners of this game will face Belgium or defending champions Portugal in the quarter-finals in Munich on 2 July.

This round of 16 match kicks off at 9pm.

Suggested bet: Italy to win 2-0 at 5.60

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