Italy is a firm favorite to win Group A at Euro 2020, but Switzerland is Turkey and Wales will not be weaklings and can all apply to qualify for the knockout round …
“Wales will play their first two games in Baku against Switzerland and Turkey. The third game in Rome is against Italy a small advantage, since fewer trips are possible than in Switzerland. “
The Azzurri are almost always competitive when they qualify for international tournaments. They have a better record at world championships than at European championships, although they won this competition in 1968. With the current amount of talent all doing their jobs in major European clubs and a manager who has won Premier League and Serie A titles, she is expected to lead Group A and be a match for everyone she has meet in the knockout rounds.
How they qualified: Italy won all 10 qualifying games, scored 37 goals and conceded four goals. Their opponents were Finland, Greece and Bosnia as well as an Armenian team who defeated the Italians 9-1.
The manager: Roberto Mancini won the Premier League with Man City and three consecutive Serie A titles with Inter Milan. He can be an aggressive manager, with a history of clashes with players and opposing managers, but he usually gets results, as evidenced by his 67% win rate with Italy.
The squad: You played 4 throughout qualifying: 3: 3, but shouldn’t have a problem switching to the last three if necessary, as many of their players with their clubs are used to this formation. You should be well positioned defensively, with speed and skill in counterattacking. At the heart of the defense, Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci are winners with plenty of experience and will go out of their way to get the job done. Key man: Federico Chiesa had a great debut season for a struggling Juventus side with 12 goals and eight assists. He is only 23 years old and has the ability to shed light on this tournament.
One To Watch: Manual Locatelli has started two of the three World Cup qualifiers for Italy 2022 so far and appears to be an important part of Mancini’s plans. After a great season for Sassuolo with an overall rating of 7.03, the young midfield general looks comfortable and physical on the ball.
Tournament prospects: It would be a surprise if Italy ended up anywhere else than at the top of Group A. Italy has the advantage of playing all three group matches at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.
How to bet on Italy: If Italy is at the top of its group, it will play second place in Group C (Holland, Ukraine, Austria, North Macedonia), which looks like the weakest of all groups. Italy’s way to the quarter-finals is pretty straightforward. We do them 1/2 to hit the last eight, but anything bigger is worth a bet.
This Swiss generation, ranked 13th in the world, has left it far behind and has not made it through the last 16 in a tournament since 1954. They said goodbye in the second round in 2016, but this time they arguably have a stronger squad. They have a cheap group and will be disappointed if they don’t get out.
How they qualified: At the top of a group with the Republic of Ireland and Denmark, five wins, two draws and one loss to the Danes.
The manager: Before Vladimir Petkovic took over the national team in 2014, he mainly headed Swiss clubs, although he worked in Lazio for two years. During this time he won the Coppa Italia in 2013. Under Petkovic’s leadership, Switzerland has a 51% rating victory.
The squad: It is likely that they will play 4-4-2 against Turkey and Wales and switch to a three-point against Italy. Petkovic likes the balance of his broad players and uses Steven Zuber on the left in midfield and Xherdan Shaqiri on the right. With Remo Freuler and Granit Xhaka they have a strong core in the midfield. You like to play with a great target man in Haris Seferovic. He has scored 22 goals in 43 games for Benfica this season.
Schlüsselmann: Switzerland depends on captain Xhaka to hold the ball and maintain the strong midfield partnership with Freuler. The substitutes for midfield are different types of players, so the team would have to change their style if Xhaka were injured.
One To Watch: The young, energetic defensive midfielder Denis Zakaria does his job in the Bundesliga for Borussia Mönchengladbach. He won’t start but could be important from the bench or a great alternative if injured. He’s busy and could be very useful for Petkovic.
Tournament prospects: You will play against both Turkey and Wales in Baku and Italy in Rome. This puts the Swiss at a slight disadvantage when it comes to travel, especially when Italy is their second game. Even so, Petkovics men would expect to qualify out of the group and if they manage to finish second they will face the runners-up in Group B.
How to bet on Switzerland: Switzerland is the second best team in the group and Italy should offer the best game of all three teams. Given the management issues in Wales, a win against them should get the Swiss through the group and they should be easy favorites against Turkey. The battle for second place could be due to the goal difference between Switzerland and Turkey. Since the Swiss are more defensive against Italy, they should be able to keep the score low and maybe even get a point. Back to Switzerland, on October 21. To finish second in Group A.
Reaching the semi-finals of the 2008 tournament was by far Turkey’s best euro performance. They qualified next in 2016 and dropped out in the group stage.
How they qualified: Turkey was an impressive runner-up in their group, just two points behind France. Turkey conceded only three goals in 10 games and were extremely difficult to break. They have since suffered disappointing Nations League results but looked back on track with a 4-2 win over the Netherlands in the last World Cup qualifiers. The manager: Senol Gunes is very experienced and this is his second stint in charge of the league national team. It led them to a third World Cup place in 2002 and won Turkish Super Lig titles in a row with Besiktas in 2016 and 17.
The squad: Turkey generally ranks in a 4-2-3-1 formation . In Caglar Soyuncu and Merih Demiral they have an outstanding young defensive partnership, although the latter has struggled with injuries this season. Ozan Kabak and Kaan Ayhan are good options to replace him. Much of the creative responsibility rests with Hakan Calhanoglu, who currently has nine assists for AC Milan and tops the charts for key passes in Serie A. Burak Yilmaz leads the attack and looks better than ever at 35. His 16 goals help Lille win the Ligue 1 title
Key man: Yilmaz’s recent hat-trick against the Netherlands highlighted his goal threat. While Turkey will be relying heavily on their goals, their all-round play is just as important. Excellent hold-up play and passing range are two of his main strengths.
One To Watch: With over 50 internationals, Calhanoglu is one of the oldest members of this squad. He’s adept at playing as a 10 or left, and at 27 he wants to show his talent in this tournament.
Tournament prospects: Turkey’s first group game will take place in Rome against Italy, followed by two games in Baku. The travel plan for Switzerland was far less good and this could prove significant if Turkey meet them in the final group game. Ultimately, they should reach the knockout stage, but they lack the depth in attack areas to go deep.
How to bet on Turkey: Turkey is easily underestimated in this group. Defensive stability was the key to their qualifying success and they can keep things very close here. Turkey have raised their level to better keep up with the last few games and they will try to do the same when they travel to hosts Italy in the opener. Turkey will want to win against Wales and play against Switzerland in the final. The Swiss are facing an undesirable travel plan that Turkey could really benefit from. Back to Turkey to qualify from Group A on August 15th.
Wales achieved by far the best result in an international tournament last time and reached the semi-finals of Euro 2016. The current team is the one from before five years from now, and Wales may be the dark horse of this tournament needs again.
How they qualified: Their qualifying group actually included four teams competing in Euro 2020 – Croatia, Slovakia and Hungary. Wales finished second in the group behind Croatia, scoring 11 points from their last five games and sealing qualification with a 2-0 home win over Hungary.
The manager: After Ryan Giggs was charged with assault, it was confirmed that Robert Page will bring the national team to the euro. Page previously managed Port Vale and Northampton with the Wales U21s.
The Squad: Wales is likely to play with a back three. You have many options for broad players, including Manchester United’s Daniel James. Page likes to play a defensive midfielder alongside a box-to-box man, so the combination of Ethan Ampadu and Aaron Ramsey should suit his tactics. The team will be built around Gareth Bale and he will likely play up front alongside Kieffer Moore.
Key Man: Bale is arguably more important to his team than any other player in the competition, who is responsible for scoring, creating opportunities and delivering of set pieces is of vital importance. After a few years of warming the bench in Madrid, we see glimpses of the player we knew in 2014. If Bale can get back to his best in this tournament, Wales could cause some more shocks again.
One To Watch: Moore comes here after his best scorer after 20 of 42 appearances for Cardiff City. A great target man who can make life very difficult for defenders. If he can complement the quality of Bale alongside himself, he can be vital to his team’s chances.
Rising Star: James is only 23 years old and has played for Man United 21 times this season, including four Goals scored. Its lightning-fast pace gives Wales alternative attack options to catch the opposition unprepared.
Tournament prospects: Wales will play their first two games in Baku against Switzerland and Turkey. The third game against Italy in Rome is a bit of an advantage, as fewer trips are possible than in Switzerland. If Wales finish second they’ll play second in Group B (Belgium, Denmark, Russia, Finland) which would be a pretty winnable game. If they qualify for third place it could be a tough game of the last 16.
How to bet on Wales: With Gareth Bale taking a large percentage of that market, there are decent options elsewhere. Look no further than Kieffer Moore. Wales can only score a few goals during the tournament and with Moore the lead man at the helm it’s very possible that he can score a few goals.
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