Saturday’s Euro 2020 Betting Odds, Picks, Predictions: Italy vs. Austria Preview (June 26)
DeFodi Images via Getty Images. Pictured: Marcel Sabitzer.
- It's win or go home in Euro 2020, as Italy and Austria begin the knockout round of play on Saturday.
- The Italians have been one of the biggest surprises of the tournament behind a strong defense that is yet to allow a goal this tournament.
- Despite that, however, BJ Cunningham thinks the Austrian side will be able to keep things close.
Italy vs. Austria Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (+115 / -139)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 3 p.m. ET|
|Odds updated Friday afternoon via DraftKings.|
Italy look to keep their dominant run going as they square off with second-place finishers in Group B, Austria.
Italy, I think everyone would agree, have been the most impressive team during the group stage. The Italians didn’t have very high expectations coming into the tournament, but so far have shown that they are just as good as some of the best teams in the world.
However, they’ll be facing the best team they’ve seen in over three years, so it’ll be interesting to see if they can keep up their dominant form.
Austria made it out of Group B, beating North Macedonia and Ukraine, while losing to the Netherlands 2-0. However, Austria’s last match against the Ukraine was quite interesting, as they only needed a draw to move on to the knockout stage, and by finishing third they would have avoided Italy.
Instead the Austrians did not play passive and took the game to Ukraine beating them 1-0, basically making a statement saying, “We want Italy.”
Italy Blowing Expectations Out of Water
It’s really hard to find a lot of negatives with this Italian side right now. They haven’t allowed a goal all tournament. In fact, they haven’t allowed a goal in over 1000 minutes of international play under Roberto Mancini.
What’s even more impressive is goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma has only been forced to make two saves all tournament long, and Italy have allowed their opponents to only create a total of 1.29 expected goals.
As far as the Italian attack is concerned, it’s been very lethal in the final third. In their three group stage matches, Italy averaged 2.26 xG per match, had the most shot-creating actions, passes that led to a shot and the third-most goal-creating actions (per FBref).
So, Italy are a juggernaut right now and should be able to create a lot of chances in the final third against an average Austrian defense.
Austria Might Have Midfield Advantage
Austria were fantastic against North Macedonia and Ukraine, outcreating them both a combined 4.40 xG to 1.15 xG, but lost to the Netherlands 2-0 in Amsterdam. However, they weren’t that bad against the Dutch, as they completed more passes and held about 50% of the possession. They just couldn’t do anything in the final third, creating only 0.72 xG.
Austria’s midfield combination of Marcel Sabitzer, Konrad Laimer and Xaver Schlager is about as good as you’ll see in this tournament. Sabitzer plays a more attacking, creative role, while Schlager and Laimer serve as the more defensive ball-winners.
Then, of course, David Alaba is directing traffic in defense while also going forward on the counter. The Austrian press has been amazing through their three group-stage matches, as they have a 38% successful pressure rate, which is the second best mark in the tournament, while the three teams Italy faced were all below 28% in their pressure success rate.
Austria should be able to give Italy some problems in the midfield.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Jumping in front of the Italy train seems like a death sentence right now, but I do think they are overvalued. Austria’s midfield is one of the best in this tournament and will be a big challenge for Italy, so I am going to back Austria’s spread of +1 at +104 (DraftKings) and would play anything up to -120.
Pick: Austria +1 (+104)
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