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Italy vs Wales – Euro 2020 Preview

In their 2 games played so far at this competition, Italy have score 6 goals, conceded none, had 37 shots with 11 of those being on target, they have an average possession of 56.50%, have received no cards and taken 11 corners.

Wales in their 2 games have scored 3 goals, conceded 1, had 25 shots with 9 on target, they have had an average possession of 35.50%, they have been given 3 yellow cards, no red cards and taken 11 corners.

Italy are through to the knock out stage, and a draw or win in this game will see them through as group winners. If Italy lose to Wales in this game, Wales will go through in top place and Italy will go through in 2nd place. The situation is slightly more complicated for Wales. If Wales win they go through as group winners, if Wales get a point they go through in 2nd place, if Wales lose they will still go through in 2nd place, unless Switzerland beat Turkey and there is a swing in goal difference. A Wales loss and Switzerland win would put them level on points, the first separator would be Head to Head record, but as these sides drew when they met, we would need goal difference. With Wales currently +2 and Switzerland -3, its important for Wales that if they lose they don’t take a hammering.

The referee for this game is Ovidiu Hategan (Romania), this season he has taken charge of 32 games, giving 124 yellow cards and 8 red cards, an average of 3.87 yellow cards per game and 0.25 red cards per game.

I’m very confident that Wales will look to keep this game tight, a draw guarantees them 2nd spot, and if they lose its important they keep it tight with goal difference being all that could cost them a top 2 spot. Wales and Italy are the only 2 teams who can top this group, and whoever does finish top will play the runner up in group C, who looks like being Ukraine or Austria. The runner up in this group will play the runner up in group B, who looks like being Russia or Finland. So in truth there is not a massive difference in terms of quality of opponent that the 1st and 2nd placed teams will meet in the last 16. However, Italy will not want to lose any momentum that they have built up in their first 2 games, and players have the motivation of playing for places in the squad for the knock out games. Italy will control possession with Wales looking to stay compact and play on the counter attack through the pace of Daniel James and Gareth Bale. I don’t see either team going all out and risking everything for a win and feel that this could be a game with not many goals. I can see quite a slow and methodical game, that at times becomes scrappy as Italy in particular will make some personnel changes. Wales will be unlikely to play with much urgency whilst the scores are level, as a draw is enough for them and they will snatch your hand off for that result right now.

I feel this game could easily end 0-0 in a bit of a bore draw as neither time is willing to take many risks, or the other most likely result would be Italy to pinch it by a 1-0 score line.

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