Euro Betting: Belgium vs Italy
Euro Semi-finals | July 2 | Munich
Their Euros So Far
The first of the four Euro quarter-final ties to be confirmed. Both sides have had near flawless Euro campaigns so far, not to mention extensive unbeaten runs coming into the tournament. For number 1 in the world rankings Belgium, they have won every Euro game so far, conceding only one goal and scoring eight. And in ending Portugal’s reign as Euro holders in their last game, the Red Devils look primed to go even further at Euro 2020.
For Italy, Mancini’s men continue on a magnificent run of 27 games unbeaten. They won every game to nil in the Euro group stage, along with 7 goals. Although they struggled against a disciplined Austria side in the last 16, their class and endeavour eventually came through with two extra-time goals, before Austria grabbed a late consolation.
The next contest, against a Belgian team dubbed the ‘golden generation’ will be their sternest test yet. Belgium continue to swat aside any opposition they face, but in Roberto Mancini, the Azzurri look to have found a manager that can get them prolifically scoring, as well as remaining stoically Italian in defence.
An intriguing battle awaits, with whoever triumphs setting a new record for the longest ever Euro winning run.
Euro Squad News
Whilst Italy appear to have no major injury concerns heading into the game, Roberto Martinez’s side have significant worries to overcome before Friday. Kevin de Bruyne and Eden Hazard both came off for Belgium in their victory over Portugal and look doubtful for the quarter-final against Italy.
De Bruyne rolled his ankle under a heavy challenge from Joao Palhinha. This coming just two games since returning from an eye-injury suffered for Man City in the Champions League final defeat to Chelsea. It was, however, positive to see him leaving the stadium without a protective boot or limp.
For Hazard, brother of Thorgan, who scored Belgium’s winner against Portugal, he pulled up with an apparent hamstring concern deep into the second half. The Red Devils will be hoping he and de Bruyne can shake off those knocks before Friday’s big game.
There have been 22 meetings between the two nations, with Italy being heavily dominant throughout, winning 14 to Belgium’s 4! Obviously, over the decades, Italy have been a near continual major international side, whereas until the past five or six years, Belgium were not the powerhouse that they are recognized as being now.
In the past five years, there has only been two meetings between the nations, yet Italy still prevailed in the last one, winning 2-0 in the group stage of Euro 2016. Prior to that in 2015, Belgium won a friendly 3-1, de Bruyne and Jan Vertonghen amongst the scorers.
In terms of Euro contests, they also met at Euro 2000, another 2-0 victory for the Italians in the group stages.
Such historic results and the recent rise of the Belgian national side makes predicting this one a tough challenge.
So, will Belgium’s ‘golden generation’ make Euro 2020 count? Or will Italy maintain their historic hold?