EUROPE: Euro

Date: 20-06-21

Time: 5:00 PM

Venue: Stadio Olimpico (Rome)

Italy became the first team to seal qualification to the knock-out round at Euro 2020 after registering their tenth consecutive victory ‘to-nil’. That dominant victory against Switzerland also put them within two games of equalling their all-time best clean-sheet run spanning between 1972 and 1974. Another clean sheet here would not only see Italy clinch first spot in Group A, but also equal their existing all-time record of 30 games unbeaten (1939-present).

The ’Azzurri’ will be aiming to win all three group matches for only the second time in their history – a feat that was spoiled on matchday three of Euro 2016 by another team from the British Isles (2-1 loss to Republic of Ireland). However, with each of their previous ten consecutive wins arriving despite a -1 handicap, and eight after a HT lead, Italy will be extremely confident of grabbing another three points here.

Wales (W1, D1) need only one point to secure their second qualification for the knockout phase in as many appearances at the European Championships, although even a loss could see them qualify as one of the best-ranked third-placed sides regardless. After suffering only two losses in the last 12 outings however (W6, D4), Robert Page’s side will have no fear when they walk out at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico.

Despite being outsiders, Wales might surprise Italy early as they’ve now led ’to-nil’ at HT in four of their all-time five group matches at the Euros. Nonetheless, with 46.15% (six) of their all-time goals at the Euros coming beyond the hour mark, the ‘Dragons’ could still burn their hosts late on.

Players to watch: Last time out, Manuel Locatelli became the third player to score a brace for Italy at the European Championships – three of his last five competitive strikes have been match openers in the first half-hour. Conversely, Wales’ Aaron Ramsey has scored five of his previous seven competitive goals after HT.

Recent Stats:

  • Italy’s form in last 5 matches: WWWWW.
  • Wales’ form in last 5 matches: WDDLW

PREDICTION: Home/Draw and Over 1.5

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