EUROPE: Euro

Date: 02-07-21

Time: 8:00 PM

Venue: Allianz Arena (Munich)

A Thorgan Hazard stunner vs Portugal booked Belgium’s spot in this eye-catching quarter-final, as they secured their fourth win at Euro 2020 – the first time this nation have ever won four games in a single European Championship finals. They’ll now hope to capitalize on a lucky omen, as four of the previous five nations to have knocked out the existing European champions went on to lift the trophy.

Having lost at the quarter-finals of the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016, Belgium finally cleared this hurdle at the 2018 World Cup. They’ve shown real development under boss Roberto Martínez, as no European nation has won more games (47) and scored more goals (175) than Belgium since Martínez took over.

In fact, it’s a managerial battle of the Roberto’s in this encounter. Italy, currently led by Roberto Mancini, have won three of four fixtures against Belgium since the start of 2000 (L1), and are unbeaten in major tournament H2Hs (W3, D1) – the last two ended in a 2-0 win for the Italians.

Mancini’s inspired substitutions got the job done against Austria, with another clean sheet in 90 minutes taking Italy’s current streak to 12 within regulation time. Arriving in their fourth successive European Championship quarter-final (W1, L2), a win would result in a fifth consecutive European Championship victory for the Italians, an unprecedented feat for the ‘Azzuri’.

Averaging 21.8 shots per game – a tournament high after the Round of 16 – while facing only seven shots themselves, shows Italy have been at their best. In fact, they’ve only conceded 13 goals across their last 18 matches at major tournaments, keeping eight clean sheets, and conceding more than once on only one occasion.

Players to watch: Thorgan Hazard now has four goals and two assists in his last seven starts for Belgium, while Italy’s Ciro Immobile will be looking to add to his two goals and one assist at Euro 2020.

Recent Stats:

  • Belgium’s form in last 5 matches: WWWWW.
  • Italy’s form in last 5 matches: DWWWW

PREDICTION: Home/Draw and Over 1.5

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