UEFA EURO 2020 MATCH PREVIEW: ITALY VS SWITZERLAND, AZZURRI LOOKING FOR WIN TO GET THROUGH TO THE NEXT STAGE
ITALY VS SWITZERLAND
Italy hosts neighbours Switzerland at Stadio Olimpico in Rome for their second group stage match. The Group A fixture can be a ticket to the next stage for the hosts as a win would confirm their berth in the Round of 16.
— Italy ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (@azzurri) June 13, 2021
The Azzurri won their first game against Turkey comfortably with a 3-0 scoreline. The defensively solid Italians have won their last eight games with a clean sheet, conceding their last goal in October 2020 against the Netherlands in a draw. Roberto Mancini’s young team is 28 games unbeaten since September 2018, when they lost to Portugal in the Nations League.
Italy is undoubtedly the favourites coming into the fixture, but their opponents can’t be written off so easily.
The Granit Xhaka-led team topped their qualification group coming into the Euros and are undefeated in their recent nine fixtures, although eight of them were draws. They shared the points in the first group stage game against Wales and will be looking to further move the points table to increase their chances of progressing.
Roberto Mancini has a large pool of talented midfielders to choose his best three from but hasn’t been able to make that choice due to a long list of injuries in the position. Nicolo Zaniolo earlier missed out on the competition altogether due to a ligament injury. Out of those who made it to the squad, Marco Verratti, Lorenzo Pellegrini and Stefano Sensi are all doubtful for their next group fixture.
⚽️ All the goals from a training game at Coverciano that saw Marco #Verratti get 20 minutes of action with his former side.
— Italy ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (@azzurri) June 13, 2021
Alessandro Florenzi had to be substituted after picking up a calf injury in the opening fixture and will most likely miss the game against Switzerland.
Italy’s Probable Lineup: Donnarumma; Spinazzola, Chiellini, Bonucci, Di Lorenzo; Locatelli, Jorginho, Barella; Insigne, Immobile, Chiesa
Vladimir Petkovic’s side has no particular injury concerns apart from a minor ankle injury to their backup goalkeeper Jonas Omlin.
Switzerland dominated the possession in their previous game and would like to do the same against the Italians going with the same 3-4-1-2 formation but can also go with a 4-4-2 to provide better defensive cover on the flanks
Switzerland’s Probable Lineup: Sommer; Akanji, Schar, Elvedi; Rodriguez, Xhaka, Shaqiri, Freuler, Mbabu; Embolo, Seferovic
Italy will look to dominate the game from the beginning and scoring the first goal will be key to taking all three points. Both flanks are equally dangerous for the Azzuri but the left side with Lorenzo Insigne and Leonardo Spinazzola is more likely to create goalscoring opportunities.
Italy's most dangerous player in the first half ✅
Created the second goal 🅰️
— UEFA EURO 2020 (@EURO2020) June 11, 2021
Spinazzola was a constant threat for the Turks in the previous game and Switzerland might face the same threat if they don’t devise a plan to stop the AS Roma wing-back.
Breel Embolo opened the scoring for the Swiss against Wales, but Italy won’t allow them to create as many chances. The Borussia Monchengladbach forward will have to make use of every opportunity he gets if Switzerland is to win over favourites Italy. His pace will be useful on the counter-attack as Italy will be looking to dominate possession. Embolo could look to target Bonucci and Chiellini who, for all their expertise, are not the fastest.
🇨🇭 Breel Embolo = Star of the Match 👏
— UEFA EURO 2020 (@EURO2020) June 12, 2021
Xherdan Shaqiri will be in charge of the creative department for the Swiss to get past the Italian wall. He made the goal for Breel Embolo with an accurate delivery from a corner in their 1-1 draw against Wales and looked in fine touch.
Italy is the usual favourite for the fixture but Euro 2020 is the perfect stage for upsets. Although unlikely, Switzerland might edge over Italy if they can dominate the midfield and don’t let the Italians have much of the ball. Italy has shown under Mancini that they don’t solely depend on one way to score goals, but the absence of Verratti will affect their creativity despite having Locatelli to fill up.
FootTheBall predicts Italy 2-0 Switzerland, which will help secure the Italians their place in the next round.