The final round of group games in the European Championships gets underway with Group A. Italy and Wales look on the verge of the next round, while Turkey and Switzerland look set for a nervy wait to see if they can sneak through as one of the best placed third-place teams.
Italy vs Wales
The most interesting game on Sunday will be the showdown between the top two in the group. Italy have been an eye-catching side in the EUROs to this point, but Wales could present the first stern test that they have come up against.
The Italians have certainly captured the imagination throughout the tournament to this point. They have gone on a run a run of ten straight games without conceding a goal. However, whether they have come up against a talented opposition remains a question.
Italy have been ruthless in their opening two group games, as they have won both games 3-0. Before the start of this tournament, Italy had never won a game at the EUROs 3-0, which is a testament to the style of play Roberto Mancini has introduced throughout his tenure.
It’s fair to say that hopes weren’t that high among Welsh fans ahead of the tournament, as many didn’t expect a similar run to the one that they achieved at EURO 2016. However, a mighty performance against Turkey in the week means that they are on the verge of qualification. They have picked up four points from games against Switzerland and Turkey, which means that they have a three point advantage over the Swiss. Aaron Ramsey and Connor Roberts scored the goals in their 2-0 win against Turkey.
This could be an entertaining fixture, and we will certainly know more about both nations on Sunday afternoon. However, the most likely result is the draw, which means that neither side will lose their momentum ahead of the knockout rounds.
Switzerland vs Turkey
Switzerland and Turkey have been very disappointing in Group A to this point, despite many expecting a big tournament performance the latter. But, can either of these teams get a win to increase their chances?
Turkey have very little chance of reaching the next round after two poor performances to start the EUROs. They were slightly better against Wales, but that is mainly due to their level of performance against Italy. They chased the game in the second half against Wales, but couldn’t find that killer instinct in the final third. The defeat means that they have now conceded five goals in two games, and are yet to score.
Switzerland have a more realistic chance of getting a best-placed third spot, but they will need to beat Turkey to have a chance. Victory coupled with fortunate results in other games will mean that they will sneak through. However, they will need to play much better than they did against Italy, as they were very passive in that fixture. They failed to lay a glove on the Italians, and fell to a 3-0 defeat.
This is a challenging game to call, as neither side have shown much in way of positive attacking play so far in the EUROs. However, we could see Turkey sneak a win to end the tournament on a high.