EURO 2020: Italy, Austria battle for quarterfinal ticket
• Wales Face Denmark
This game may come too soon for Italy captain Giorgio Chiellini, who is recovering from a muscle problem. Francesco Acerbi is set to deputise for the veteran at centre-back.
The Azzurri are likely to recall most of the players who were rested against Wales, though Marco Verratti may keep his place after impressing on his return from a knee injury.
Martin Hinteregger and Florian Grillitsch could be fit for Austria despite minor muscle problems. Valentin Lazaro is again likely to miss out, while Austria have indicated Christoph Baumgartner will probably be available despite being involved in a clash of heads against Ukraine.
He played on for a further quarter of an hour, scoring the winner, before being substituted in the 33rd minute. Austria’s last win against Italy was in a friendly in 1960. The Azzurri are unbeaten in the subsequent 13 meetings, winning 10 of those matches.
The sides have never met before at a European Championship finals, but all four encounters at the World Cup saw Italy win by a single-goal margin.
The last meeting was a friendly in August 2008, which ended in a 2-2 draw. Italy’s 30-game unbeaten run (W25, D5) has equalled an 82-year-old national record.
The Azzurri are vying to win a 12th consecutive match, which would be a new record. Roberto Mancini’s side have won their last 11 matches, scoring 32 goals without reply.
They have gone 17 hours and 35 minutes without conceding a goal, since Donny van de Beek scored for the Netherlands in a 1-1 draw in the Nations League in October.
Italy have won all three group games for the fourth time at a major tournament, having previously done so at the 1978 and 1990 World Cups and at Euro 2000.
The Azzurri have only lost one of their six games (W2, D3) at Wembley (all against England), with their solitary defeat coming in a World Cup qualifier in 1977.
This is Austria’s first appearance in the knockout stage of the European Championship and their first at any major tournament since the 1954 World Cup, when they reached the semi-finals.
They won two of their three group stage games, having failed to win any in 2008 and 2016. Austria have lost four of their six games in London in all competitions, with this their first visit to the capital since losing 7-0 to England in a friendly at Wembley in 1973.
David Alaba created nine chances in the group stage, at least four more than any other Austrian. Meanwhile, Wale and Denmark will play early at 17.00 today.
Culled from BBCSports
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