Belgium vs. Italy Odds, Pick, Betting Prediction: Take Italians to Advance in Euro 2020 (July 2)
Claudio Villa/Getty Images. Pictured: Italy star Lorenzo Insigne.
- Italy is favored over Belgium in Euro 2020 quarterfinal action on Friday (3 p.m. ET, ESPN).
- The Italians might be the most balanced team left in the tournament, boasting an explosive offense and stout defense. Belgium has won all four matches, but stars Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard are banged up.
- Jeremy Pond breaks down the match and gives his Belgium vs. Italy pick below.
Belgium vs. Italy Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (+130 / -175)|
|Day | Time||Friday | 3 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||ESPN | fuboTV|
|Odds updated Friday morning via BetMGM.|
Global soccer powerhouses go at it Friday in the Euro 2020 quarterfinal round when Belgium faces Italy at Allianz Arena in Munich.
It really doesn’t get any better than this showdown, folks. The Belgians, sitting No. 1 in the latest FIFA world rankings, earned a spot in this meeting with their 1-0 victory over Cristiano Ronaldo and defending Euro champion Portugal in a Round of 16 affair.
On the other side, the Italians had to do a little extra work to book their place in the final eight of the competition. Buoyed by extra-time goals from Federico Chiesa and Matteo Pessina, Italy secured a 2-1 overtime win over Austria.
The winner advances to the semifinal round where it will take on Switzerland or Spain, who play in the day’s opener, for the right to compete for the championship. Let’s see where the value sits in this confrontation.
Injuries to De Bruyne, Eden Hazard Concerning for Belgium
You would probably assume the Belgians and their fans are carrying a ton of confidence into this affair. Belgium has won all four of its games at this event, including that victory over Portugal.
However, all is not hunky-dory in the Red Devils’ camp as two of their star players — Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard — face major fitness issues after picking up knocks last time out. De Bruyne was forced off just a few minutes into the second half against Portugal with an ankle injury, while Hazard suffered a hamstring injury and had to be substituted late in the game.
Their availability has to be of great concern to manager Roberto Martinez, who despite having an array of attacking talent — led by striker Romelu Lukaku — at his disposal is well aware that De Bruyne is the player who makes the Belgian offense go. Bottom line, the Red Devils’ attack going forward looks lost and utterly stagnant without their Manchester City standout leading the way.
Another concern facing Belgium has to be the lack of quality chances it generated against Portugal, which was by no means one of the tournament’s better defensive outfits. The Belgians were only able to muster a paltry 0.2 xG in the win over the Portuguese, which essentially came via Thorgan Hazard’s wonder strike at the end of the opening half for the game’s lone goal.
Dominant Defense, Balanced Attack Power Italy
It goes without saying the Italians have been one of the best in the entire field. Currently seventh in the latest FIFA ranking, Italy has reached this point of the tournament in four consecutive appearances. Yet, perhaps the most interesting historical point between these nations is the fact Italy has gone to a penalty shootout the last three times in the quarterfinals, losing two of them.
Obviously, manager Roberto Mancini and Azzurri will be looking to get the job done in regulation — or worst case in overtime — against an opponent it has dominated in major-tournament fixtures. Italy was unbeaten in its four previous games combined in Euro and World Cup action against Belgium, cruising to a stellar 3-0-1 (W-L-D) record.
The Italians had to work a little bit harder in the first knockout round than they did in the group stage, where Italy rolled to a 3-0 record without conceding a goal. A pair of 3-0 wins against Turkey and Switzerland came before a 1-0 triumph against Wales to set up the tussle with Austria.
Italy and Austria played to a scoreless draw through regulation before Chiesa struck in the 95th minute to open the scoring. Pessina added the eventual game winner in the 105th minute before Saša Kalajdžić got the Austrians on the board, ending Azzurri’s streak of 11 games without giving up a goal.
Yes, my friends. The Italians had not given up a goal in more than 1,000 minutes of action. They held a 1.6-1.2 edge in expected goals over the Austrians, which was actually a minor consolation since none of Azzurri’s three prior foes registered more than 0.5 xG against their staunch defense.
Offensively, the Italians have an extremely balanced attacked led by Ciro Immobile and Lorenzo Insigne. The duo has helped Italy to a combined 7.0 xG through four matches, with its best showing (1.9 xG) coming against Wales.
Belgium vs. Italy Pick
I really think Belgium is going to be up against it with De Bruyne and Hazard clearly not at 100 percent and the huge possibility neither will be able to go. The Belgians have struggled mightily without the former on the pitch, which will happen against an Italian side ready to dominate the middle of the pitch.
Mancini’s group has looked fantastic for the majority of the tournament, getting solid efforts at both ends of the field. Azzurri showed some true grit in that win over Austria, which I think carries over against its banged-up foe.
That said, I’m going to eat some of the juice in this spot and simply back Italy to advance at -150 odds via BetMGM as my top selection. I fully expect this number to balloon if either De Bruyne or Hazard (or both) are ruled out, so I’d get this wager in now at the lowest number you can find.
If you’re looking to play a total, take a swing on the alternative number of over two goals at fair -130 odds at DraftKings. I actually think the Italians could hit this on their own, so I’m finding plenty of value on this number. If you’re one who likes to take a little risk, hold off and get this number somewhere around even to -110 odds via a live wager.
Pick: Italy To Advance (-150) | Total Over 2 (-130)
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