Euro 2020 soon resumes with the Round of 16 after a short break after the group stages. There are some eye-catching matchups in the Round of 16 that will keep the viewers on the edge of their seats. One such eye-catching fixture between two teams full of talent will be Italy vs Austria.
Both the teams have impressed so far and outdone their expectations. Italy comes into the fixture winning all three group games and keeping a clean sheet in all three of them and topping the group. Austria on the other hand won the important fixtures and found their way into the Round of 16 by finishing second in the group.
— Italy ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (@Azzurri_En) June 24, 2021
The 22 players to feature in the fixture are all brimming with talent and confidence as the fixture approaches, and we, at FootTheBall, bring you the best combined XI from the two squads based on their performance at Euro 2020 so far.
GIANLUIGI DONNARUMMA – ITALY
The free-agent goalkeeper has been in the headlines ever since his debut at the age of 16 and has been Italy’s number one since Buffon’s retirement. His presence between the posts has been a big plus for the Azzurri as they come into the fixture 30 games unbeaten. The 6’5” tall goalkeeper has a commanding aura in the box and likes to sweep up the pitch to help out his defence.
— Gianluigi Donnarumma (@gigiodonna1) June 20, 2021
The former AC Milan goalkeeper has kept three out of three clean sheets winning all the group stage games of Euro 2020 and looks to carry the form into the knockouts as well. Another clean sheet would possibly mean Italy is through to the quarter-finals.
DAVID ALABA – AUSTRIA
Austria’s Captain and one of the best players ever, David Alaba has had a brilliant Euro 2020 so far. He has helped his team in both defence and attack, taking them to the Round of 16 as runner ups of Group C. The former Bayern Munich defender can play anywhere on the field and bail his team out.
And again…refuel & get ready!
Can’t wait for the round of 16! pic.twitter.com/UtT8r5BE6l
— David Alaba (@David_Alaba) June 22, 2021
The 29-year old defender assisted the winner against North Macedonia in the opening game and carried the form to the final game where he yet again assisted the only goal against Ukraine, while also contributing to the clean sheet. He will yet again be crucial for Austria if they are to go further.
LEONARDO BONUCCI – ITALY
The defensive engine of Italy, Bonucci has been exceptional at Euro 2020, assisting his team in keeping three clean sheets in three games. He has been devoid of mistakes and led his team wonderfully in the absence of his long-time partner in club and country Giorgio Chiellini against Wales. Italy has one of the best defensive records in the world and Bonucci holds much credit for that.
— Leonardo Bonucci (@bonucci_leo19) June 23, 2021
The 34-year old defender has shown great composure so far and is yet to commit a foul in the tournament. He is ever-present for Italy in clutch moments and this is Italy’s first major tournament since Roberto Mancini’s arrival and he expects Bonucci to be in top form.
GIORGIO CHIELLINI – ITALY
The veteran centre-back from Turin has been solid throughout his career for both club and country and has been a core member of the Azzurri defence for 17 long years. At 36, he is still one of the key members of the Italian squad, leading them from the back. Despite the arrival of young centre backs like Bastoni and Toloi, Chiellini has held his position in the team and was one of the best players for Italy in the group stages.
— Italy ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (@Azzurri_En) June 19, 2021
The legendary defender is in the latter stages of his career and would want to help his team get one step closer to an international trophy before hanging his boots.
STEFAN LAINER – AUSTRIA
An unexpected star at Euro 2020 has been Austria’s attacking outlet from the right side, Stefan Lainer. Lainer plays as an attacking wingback for both Austria and Borussia Monchengladbach, using his passing and shooting prowess to create goals for his team. He has already scored one goal for Austria at Euro 2020 – the opener against North Macedonia.
— ÖFB – oefb.at (@oefb1904) June 15, 2021
The fullback will face Italy’s Lorenzo Insigne in the matchup and try to keep him under control to stop Italy from scoring goals. Franco Foda might use him in more of a defensive role against Italy but the rigorous pressing and stinging runs forward will always keep the Italians on their toes.
JORGINHO – ITALY
After winning the Champions League with Chelsea, Jorginho is now hunting for his first piece of silverware with the national side. He has been impressive so far in the competition with his defensive adeptness and passing ability. The 29-year old midfielder has made 13 ball recoveries in three games while keeping a 94% passing accuracy. He has been the engine of the team, covering most of the pitch.
His performance against Austria will hold much importance in their bid to reach the latter stages of Euro 2020. Jorginho can be used to counter-press the Austrians in their own half to catch them in vulnerable positions. He will be facing Austria’s creative outlet Marcel Sabitzer in the midfield and it will be a true test of his ability.
MARCEL SABITZER – AUSTRIA
Austria’s creativity flows through the Leipzig midfielder Marcel Sabitzer who can use his long shooting technique to trouble any goalkeeper in the world. Apart from his attacking responsibilities, Sabitzer is also good at his defensive duties and keeps the opponents in check. Sabitzer has made one assist for Austria at Euro 2020 so far and might be the key to breaking down Italy’s unbeatable defence.
— ÖFB – oefb.at (@oefb1904) June 23, 2021
His long shooting and dribbling will also cause problems for the usually solid Italian defence in the matchup. The 27-year old has had a passing accuracy of 87% in the group stages while making 13 ball recoveries. He will be one of the biggest threats that Austria has in the Round of 16 tie.
MANUEL LOCATELLI – ITALY
One of the biggest finds of the tournament has been Sassuolo’s 23-year old midfielder who filled up for Italy’s main man Marco Verratti in the first two group games. Manuel Locatelli made an impressive performance against Turkey but his brace against Switzerland brought him the limelight. A goal from outside of the box was a great sight but that’s not all that Locatelli offers on the pitch. He has had a passing accuracy of 92% while making 10 tackles and 4 recoveries, all in two games.
#Azzurri fans! 🙌
— Italy ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (@Azzurri_En) June 17, 2021
His presence in the match against Austria is in doubt since Verratti is not fit to play, but his performances so far might put him above Nicolo Barella in the pecking order.
LORENZO INSIGNE – ITALY
The diminutive Napoli forward has finally found the form for his national side that he was craving for so long. Roberto Mancini has transformed him into an irreplaceable asset that provides goals and assists from the left flank, using his low centre of gravity to fend off challenges and keep the ball in dangerous areas.
— Italy ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (@Azzurri_En) June 12, 2021
The 30-year old forward has scored one goal for Italy at Euro 2020 in the two games played and will again pose a goal threat in the Round of 16. He will be put up against Stefan Lainer, who loves to burst forward and attack from the flanks, increasing Insigne’s defensive responsibilities to protect the Azzurri’s dear clean sheets.
CIRO IMMOBILE – ITALY
Immobile has revived himself and his side with the brilliant form that he has shown in the tournament. The 31-year old Lazio forward has been leading Italy’s forward line and helped them score six goals in the two games he played. Used as a centre forward, Immobile is always in the right place to meet crosses from either flank and turning them into goals with his outstanding finishing.
Did you know last night #Immobile scored Italy’s 31st consecutive goal without conceding? 😮
— Italy ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (@Azzurri_En) June 17, 2021
He has scored two and assisted one goal in two Euro 2020 group stage matches, including a goal from outside the box against Switzerland. He has been the biggest threat for Italy’s opponents so far and if he can continue to do so in the knockouts, he can lead them to the trophy.
DOMENICO BERARDI – ITALY
After shining in the Serie A for Sassuolo with 24 direct goal involvements in 30 games, Berardi was bound to be Roberto Mancini’s first choice for the right flank and he indeed impressed when got the opportunity. He makes full use of his pace and skill to beat defenders and put accurate crosses but can also cut in and take a shot at the goal himself.
— Italy ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (@Azzurri_En) June 5, 2021
The 26-year old winger has already made two assists in the two games he played and will need to continue this form to help his side get past Austria. Austria’s captain David Alaba will be facing the Sassuolo forward and he will need to track back and stop Alaba from finding crosses in the box with the tall Austrian strikers arriving.
ITALY AND AUSTRIA COMBINED XI
Lainer, Chiellini, Bonucci, Alaba;
Jorginho, Sabitzer, Locatelli;
Berardi, Immobile, Insigne