Italy vs. Austria – European Championship, June 26, 2021

| June 24, 2021 1:36 pm PDT

After two calamitous World Cups in 2010 and 2014 where Italy failed to get out of the group stage – and the humiliation of missing out on Russia 2018 entirely – the Azzurri are back.

Roberto Mancini’s side has looked unbeatable so far and now comes up against Austria in Euro 2020’s round of 16 on Saturday. Read on to find out how I think the game will go and discover my betting pick.

Can Italy Go All the Way at Euro 2020?

Italy had never scored more than two goals in a European Championship game before this tournament. But a hugely impressive Azzurri found the net three times in both its opening games of Euro 2020 and finished the stage with a 1-0 win over Wales.

Since that first thrashing of Turkey, pundits and fans have been mentioning Italy in conversations about the eventual winner of the competition – and that idea doesn’t seem that far-fetched at all.

Mancini has molded together a squad that has played together through the age groups and now looks more like a cohesive unit than any Italy side in recent memory. Although there are some big names, there doesn’t seem to be any stars too important to do the hard work. A win here and Belgium or Portugal awaits in the quarterfinal.

Can Austria Upset the Odds?

Austria finished second in Group C but was very inspiring in all three games, even though it scored four goals along the way. Austria has never been a particularly exciting team to watch and it will be another dogged display on Saturday as it somehow attempts to contain Italy.

Striker Marko Arnautovic is regarded as many as the main chance for goals in this team – and he is available again after missing one of the group games through suspension for insulting a North Macedonia player. But he can be too interested in individual battles sometimes for his own good, so it is Stuttgart’s Sasa Kalajdzic who may be the one to surprise Italy.

David Alaba is the real star of the side though. Real Madrid’s newest addition regularly looks head and shoulders above his teammates on the national stage and will need his defensive colleagues to be switched on if they are to restrict Mancini’s men at Wembley.

Latest Odds and Betting Pick for Italy vs. Austria

Italy to Win-200
The Draw+305
Austria to Win+725

There is a perception that the knockout stages of major international tournaments can sometimes become attritional affairs with teams doing everything not to lose, rather than going out to win. But only two of Euro 2016’s eight round of 16 ties ended in a draw after 90 minutes – and I don’t think we will need extra time here either.

Italy has looked incredible in its three games so far and qualified for the round of 16 without conceding a single goal. The Azzurri has now won its last 11 games and you have to go back to September 2018 for the last time it lost a game. This is possibly the form team of the tournament.

Austria will need to figure out some way of ending that streak – and a defensive masterclass would seem to be the only way of doing that. But, aside from Alaba, I don’t think it has the players to achieve that. This looks like one of the more straightforward round of 16 ties and I fully expect Italy to go through.

Pick
  • Italy to Win
    -200
Dan Roberts
Dan Roberts

Dan Roberts is an experienced freelance writer specialising in sports and sports betting. He is particularly knowledgeable about world soccer, but also writes about football, basketball and cricket.

As a fan of Nottingham Forest, New York Knicks, Minnesota Vikings and New York Mets, Dan has not had much to celebrate recently.

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