Euro Betting: Italy vs Austria
Round of 16 | 26 June | London
Their Euros So Far
Italy have been one of the standout, (near) flawless teams of the tournament so far. The maximum three wins and three cleans sheets in their group games, and seven goals scored represents a fantastic performance for the Italians. It also indicates a change of nature from the renowned conservative Italy style, they now look equally explosive as well as defensively solid – a frightening proposition for many teams to face.
For Austria, it’s a case of ‘two out of three ain’t bad going at all!’ A not too shabby 2-0 defeat to group winners, Netherlands was sandwiched between an opening game victory against North Macedonia and an accomplished 1-0 victory over Ukraine, putting them second in the group and with it, automatic qualification to the next stage. The first time they have ever advanced to the Euro knockout stages.
Already qualified, the Italians also rested key players for their final group game against Wales, with only goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, Leonardo Bonucci, and Jorginho the only mainstays in the team so far. It’s expected that most of the other eight players who were rested will return to the line-up to face Austria.
The Austrians have not had the benefit of resting players for their last game, requiring their historical third game performance to qualify in second place. Such an event did bring knocks to some key players, but the news seems promising, with both Christoph Baumgartner and Julian Baumgartlinger expected to be available for selection. The latter has somehow made the Euros despite suffering a cruciate ligament injury.
Although Austria have won a respectable 12 of the 36 games between the sides, it’s been 51 years since victory occurred. They have lost ten and drew three since those successful historic meetings.
However, the most recent encounter between the sides was a 2-2 friendly draw in 2008 – with the Austrians two goals to the good, before an Italian fightback that started on the stroke of half-time.
So, will Italy continue to forge their flawless path? Or can Austria repeat another historic success and bring down Mancini’s men?