The second quarterfinal of the European Championships gives shades of an immovable object meeting an unstoppable force. Two of the most impressive teams in the tournament so far in the form of Belgium and Italy will clash for a place in the semifinals.
The Red Devils have been a force to be reckoned with so far and have managed to cruise to the competition. They dominated the group stages and went on to eliminate heavyweights Portgual from the event as well.
The 1-0 victory, however, brought upon injuries to Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard, both of whom are unlikely to take the field today.
An early goal against Denmark, marks the only one that they have conceded so far. The number one ranked side in the world will hope to keep the good record going at the Allianz Arena tonight.
They face a nemesis in the form of Italy, with their record against the Azzuri only reading 4 wins in 22 fixtures.
Italy are in the middle of a record-breaking run under Roberto Mancini, and were given a wake-up call by Austria in their Round Of 16 match.
The Austrians held their fort dor 90 minutes with a goalless draw, but crumbled during extra time. While Italy’s win sealed their progress to the last eight, it also snapped their clean sheet streak as Austria managed to snuck in one late.
Federico Chiesa’s performances have been impeccable off the bench, and could possibly be rewarded with a start. The shaky outing against the Austrians could tempt Mancini to take some calls, one of which could include the return of veteran Giorgio Chiellini.
Barella’s spot in the midfield is alos under question with the performances of bench players like Matteo Pessina and Manuel Locatelli grabbing the spotlight.
Waging Odds: Belgium (3.40) vs Italy (2.30)
Italy are favourites and are priced at 2.30, meaning if you bet ₹100 on them and if they win the match, you’ll be making ₹230.
Belgium are priced at 3.40 and are the underdogs. Betting ₹100 on them will earn you ₹340 if they come out as winners.
This fixture poses as one of the most difficult ones to call so far given the solidity in both the teams. Injuries in the Belgium camp are a major concern but they still possess the quality in their ranks.
Both of the teams were eliminated at this stage of the competition five years ago, and will look to make amends for it.
With both teams on a lengthy winning streak, it will be a clash between two well tuned squads under the lights.
Belgium should come out as winners by only a fine margin, they will look to take advantage of the Italians, who had their backs against the wall against Austria.