#EURO2024 #Football #Predictions

The defending champions are on track, but can Italy survive the first round?

The straight knockout stage will begin with the most three-legged round of eight.

Oddsmakers have the most exciting round of 16 match-ups to start the European Championship’s knockout stage, with the only one of the eight matches where the favourites are over 2. Italy’s 90-minute success is now available at @2.53 at the bookmakers, and based on the regular season, it doesn’t look unjustified. But let’s see what Bet365 have to offer to win!

It’s worth remembering the simple fact that Mattia Zaccagni’s goal against Croatia not only gave Hungary hope of progressing, but ultimately meant that the Italians went through. Indeed, if the Squadra Azzurra had finished third in their group, the 3 points and negative goal difference would have meant the defending champions would have been relegated. So it was worth extravagantly the 98th-minute brace that effectively kept the Italian dream alive.

After a poor group stage, however, we need more from the Italians, and as I indicated earlier, I think they have it in them. The straight knockout stages were made for this team, and in the bottom bracket, anyone can be beaten, so even a final is not unthinkable. However, Italian fans agree that they need more than they have seen so far against Switzerland.

“This Swiss team is tough, it will be difficult to beat them. Ndoye can be a real headache and in midfield the Freuler-Xhaka duo can dictate the tempo. I think it’s time for a change for us because we haven’t played well enough so far. I would put Fagioli in the starting line-up, for example,” said former national team defender Claudio Gentile.

For now, there is no word on a Juventus player to start, but the suspended Calafiori will have to be replaced and Mancini could start in the middle of defence. But that won’t be the only change for the Azzurri, as Scamacca and Zaccagni could start alongside Chiesa in a 4-3-3 formation, so the formation and composition will change significantly from the last game.

There is less reason to change for Switzerland, who finished the group stage unbeaten, although their play was far from perfect. The Helvetic side are a dark horse, able to play as different football in the first and second legs as they did against us.


Suspended for the Swiss, Stergiou will start on the right wing of midfield due to Widmer’s suspension, while Kwadwo Duah, who scored against us, will attack in the wing position, ahead of Vargas and Ndoye.

The bookmakers are offering surprisingly low odds for a draw, and the equal goals line is also set at 2.0, so it’s a shame to expect the best match of the tournament. Italy won 3-0 in the group stage three years ago, but what’s even more interesting is that

five of the last six matches between the two teams have been drawn, three 1-1 and two 0-0.

1-1 is a pretty big favourite anyway, as the Swiss have two of those from the group stage, so it’s perhaps not surprising that Bet365 are giving the lowest odds on that one.

We are expecting a very tough match, with the Swiss on the strength of their record and the Italians on the strength of their experience, so we have set our betting tips accordingly. Our Bet Builder will win if Switzerland fail to progress in normal time, but there will be at least 4 cards – both of which have been greened in the 2021 World Cup qualifiers.

Bet Builder: Italy or draw + Over 3.5 cards @1.95

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