Italy and Switzerland play their second group game of Euro 2020 on Wednesday evening when they meet at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico.
Roberto Mancini’s Azzurri got off to the perfect start in the tournament’s first match after comfortably dispatching Turkey 3-0.
Arriving into Euro 2020 as supposed “dark horses”, Italy marked their credentials with solid performance and are expected to make it two in a row.
Switzerland will do their best to stop that – Vladimir Petkovic’s side drew 1-1 with Wales in their first game – and are gunning for victory to give their campaign a lift-off.
Immobile the Man for Italy
Ciro Immobile, throughout his career, has been a deadly goalscorer at club level, in particular with his current club Lazio.
He has won the Serie A top scorer award three times in his career with his most impressive tally coming in the 2019-20 season – a stunning record of 36 goals in 37 games, even with Ronaldo waiting in the wings at Juventus.
His international record, however, has never quite lived up to the same standard – the 31-year-old has scored 14 times in 47 Azzurri appearances.
However, Friday may prove to be a turning point after he broke his international tournament duck against Turkey.
Reacting quickly to a parried shot, Immobile stuck the ball home with consummate ease and that could spark him into life for the remainder of the tournament.
Italy certainly have more than their fair share of creativity in the ranks, so Immobile will certainly get chances – he can be backed at
6/4 to score anytime.
Embolo the Ace in the Pack for Switzerland
Frustration will have been the main emotion in the Swiss camp after Saturday’s stalemate with Wales.
Not only was Breel Embolo’s header cancelled out by Kieffer Moore’s goal, but they also saw a potential winner ruled out after a VAR check.
Substitute Mario Gavranovic was in an offside position as he stuck the ball home, meaning Switzerland missed out on securing all three points.
Italy will undoubtedly be tougher opponents than Wales, but Petkovic’s side definitely have players that can cause problems.
Embolo’s pace and energy stretched Saturday’s game and he might fancy his chances against Juventus veterans Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini in the Azzurri defence.
Both are wonderful defenders, but pace is an issue and if Italy push up then gaps could be exploited and Embolo can be backed at
5/1 to score anytime.
Another Strong Italy Showing on the Card
Italy have arguably been the strongest performers will all sides now having played their first group games.
Roberto Mancini has revolutionised an Italian side who failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup – a low point in the country’s history.
Now they are genuine contenders, thanks to a lovely mix of youth and experience in the squad.
Goalscoring doesn’t appear to be an issue with Immobile, Lorenzo Insigne, and Domenico Berardi – who has four in his last five Italy games. – all capable of chipping in.
The endurance of Bonucci and Chiellini may be tested with games being played thick and fast, but their experience under pressure should guide them through.
Another relatively comfortable win is expected for Italy, who can be backed at
12/1 to win 3-1.
*All odds correct at time of writing