The first day of the knockout stage at EURO 2020 brings very interesting games. Wales meets with Denmark in the opening match of the day, while in the other event, Italy faces Austria.
These two events are promising a lot of fun, especially because they are the first ones, and in such situations, the tension is a bit higher, even though all the matches of the knockout round have the same significance.
Wales vs. Denmark
Gareth Bale and his team ended second in Group A, behind Italy, but ahead Switzerland because of a goal difference. The Dragons rebuffed Italy’s surge in the last 10 minutes, keeping the clean sheet and protecting the position that eventually sent them on Denmark instead of France.
Wales’ game plan involves an ultra-defensive approach, as Dragons try to score from counter-attacks, mostly focusing on defending their net. That is why the majority of their matches bring low efficiency. To be precise, six of the past seven concluded with under 2.5 scores.
Denmark was also second, only in their Group B. They would take down Russia in the last game, 4-1, securing a positive goal difference and progressing to the knockout stage, despite losing the opening two events.
The Danes like to impose high tempo on the field and break the rivals early on. The game against Russia was the best possible example, and also the first 45 minutes against Belgium, during which they outplayed the Red Devils.
We haven’t seen Wales and Denmark playing since 2018, once they met in the UEFA Nations League. The Danish team was better in both games, 2-0 and 1-2.
We believe that the Danes will win this one because they seem like a better team overall and more balanced than the Dragons, who have Bale and try to defend for all 90 minutes.
Pick: Denmark to win 0.75 at BetXChange
Italy vs. Austria
Azzurri are moving from Rome to Wembley, where they meet Austria, their neighbors. Italy played superbly during the group stage, winning all nine points, with seven goals scored and not a single one allowed. Of all the big teams and the favorites for the title, they would leave the best impression.
What might be problematic is Chiellini’s injury. Juve’s defender and the leader of this unit has certain problems, and potentially, he might not be 100% ready for this game.
Overall, Italy is without a defeat for 30 games, keeping clean sheets in the past 10.
As for the Austrians, they’ve played solid in the group stage, posting two wins against North Macedonia and Ukraine and losing to the Netherlands. They are playing open and dynamic football, with the leaders being David Alaba and Marcel Sabitzer, while upfront, they have Marko Arnautovic.
The offense hasn’t been that great in the near past, failing to score in four of the previous six matches. Also, just one game during that span saw both teams netting.
Italy and Austria met for the last time in 2009, in one friendly international, and that match saw four goals, two on each side.
Italy is the absolute favorite in this one, and anything else but their win would be a massive surprise.
Pick: Italy Wins 0.55 at BetXChange