Italy vs. Wales Odds, Preview, Predictions: Can Azurri Sweep Group A in Euro 2020? (June 20)
Claudio Villa/Getty Images. Pictured: Italy standouts Leonardo Bonucci (left) and Manuel Locatelli.
- Italy looks to seal its place atop Group A on Sunday against a surprise Wales team.
- The Welsh, who pulled off a win over Turkey in their last Euro 2020 match, are in strong position to advance to the knockout stage.
- Even though Italy needs just one point to win the group, Anthony Dabbundo breaks down the meeting below and explains how he's backing the Italians.
Italy vs. Wales Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (+120 / -160)|
|Day | Time||Sunday | 12 p.m. ET|
|Odds updated Saturday evening via PointsBet.|
The final round of group play is here, with Group A concluding play Sunday via simultaneous matches.
Italy has already booked its place in the knockout stage with consecutive, dominant 3-0 wins over Turkey and Switzerland, but Azzurri need at least one point at home against Wales to clinch the top spot in the group.
Wales impressed in a 2-0 win over Turkey in its last match, which means it’s almost certain to make the knockout stage and should have no issues getting through even with a loss.
That changes the calculus for these sides, especially in the second half, with both managers potentially having one eye on the knockout stage. If Wales draws, it clinches second. If it loses a tight game, it will almost certainly be the group runner-up.
Dominant Italians Eye Third Consecutive Win
Italy’s underlying numbers from its first two games are really impressive when you take a closer look at them. Not only have the Italians been stout defensively, allowing zero big scoring chances and fewer than 0.3 expected goals allowed in both matches, but they’ve completely dominated in attacking areas and had no issues with ball progression.
While some favorites like France, Spain and England have struggled to turn possession into chances, Italy has had no such issue in its first 180 minutes. Manager Roberto Mancini has a midfield three with clearly defined roles, an excellent wing back on the left in Leonardo Spinazzola and a clicking attacking trio.
Lorenzo Insigne tucks in from the left, Domenico Berardi provides the width from the right and Ciro Immobile has been impressive with two goals from the middle.
Azzurri have the second most key passes, fourth-most passes into the final third and second-most progressive passes of any team in the tournament thus far. Only Denmark has tallied more shots, and only the Netherlands has more non-penalty expected goals through two matches.
Even though Italy’s finishing has been above average through two games, the underlying numbers suggest it’s not a fluke.
Can Wales Thrive Against Strong Italian Defense?
Few teams have looked more different between their first two matches than the Welsh did in a 2-0 thrashing of Turkey in Baku on Wednesday.
After picking off a fortunate draw with Switzerland despite being outplayed in the first match, Wales played right through an underwhelming Turkish midfield with ease at times.
Wales is reliant on counterattacking, getting Gareth Bale on the ball with time and space in transition with an ability to pick out passes into the penalty area. When given that time, Wales can be very dangerous going forward. Italy isn’t likely to cede much space to Wales, though, and Bale might struggle to get into this game if Italy presses the Welsh and pins them in their own half.
This game sets up to be much more like the Switzerland game, in which Wales lost the xG battle by a 1.4-0.5 margin and needed a late equalizer to salvage a point. Switzerland had much more control of the ball in dangerous positions, as Italy will in this game. Meanwhile, the Welsh counterattack failed to really make its imprint on the game because of a lacking defensive solidity.
Betting Analysis & Pick
The full-game moneyline is priced in that Italy has less motivation to really win this game, as it has taken a dive since the circumstances set in that it only needs a draw to top Group A.
However, there’s no reason to expect the Italians to not to play a strong lineup, one that should be able to dominate Wales in the opening 45 minutes before Mancini looks to potentially rotate his squad.
Italy will be able to shut off Wales’ counterattacking and should be solid enough defensively on set pieces. Also, the Italians’ interchanging attack should create enough chances to take a lead into halftime.
Anything plus money is a good number on Italy in the opening 45 minutes.
Pick: Italy 1H ML (+115 — play at +100 or better)
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