Live: Italy vs Austria | EURO 2020 | knockouts Stage
15:00 ET Canada-USA | 21:00 Cairo Local Time
Referee: Anthony Taylor (England)
The group stage of UEFA Euro 2020 is officially in the books and now, we can focus our attention on the knockouts. We begin our journey with the Round of 16 and while there are plenty of standout games to discuss, we’re going to focus our energy on Italy vs Austria.
The Azzurri have been on fire up to this point whereas the Austrians have a few tricks up their sleeve that could turn this into quite a shootout, with a place in the last eight being on the line.
In the blink of an eye, Italy have emerged alongside the Netherlands and Belgium as the only teams with any major momentum heading into the next round. They were considered to be dark horses before a ball was kicked but now, they’ve been able to reach that next level – to the point where many fans can’t stop talking about them. They know how to perform on the big stage as we’ve seen in Group A, and they shouldn’t have any difficulty in carrying that mentality over into this game.
Florenzi and Chiellini are both fitness doubts with the latter suffering from a hamstring injury, potentially opening up the door for Bastoni or Acerbi to feature. Elsewhere, Pellegrini is the only confirmed injury absence for this one.
Off the back of a solid group stage performance, Austria will know that they’re in the land of the giants now. They aren’t expected to progress here but, in itself, reaching this point is a huge testament to how they’ve improved in the last few years.
Whether or not they can push forward and qualify for the World Cup in 2022 is another matter but one thing is for sure – they aren’t going to sit back and allow the favourites to run through them.
Austria are expected to continue with a back four to allow Alaba the time and space he needs to thrive at full-back. Laimer and Baumgartner are both fitness concerns after they came off against Ukraine but aside from that, they’ll be at full strength.
FT: Italy 2-1 Austria | EURO 2020