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Euro 2020: Favourites Italy, underdog Austria eye quarterfinals berth

Sides to compete in round-of-16 clash on Saturday

SAMAA | - Posted: Jun 26, 2021 | Last Updated: 3 months ago
Posted: Jun 26, 2021 | Last Updated: 3 months ago

Photo Courtesy: Twitter / Euro 2020

Italy will be eyeing a spot in the last-eight of the Euro 2020 on Saturday when they will face Austria in Wembley.

Roberto Mancini, who took over after Italy’s failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, has rebuilt the Azzurri into contenders, overseeing a 30-match unbeaten run to equal the mark set under two-time World Cup-winning coach Vittorio Pozzo in the 1930s.

Italy breezed through the group stage and have won their last 11 matches without conceding a goal. They will be heavy favourites against an Austria side through to the knockout stages of the tournament for the first time.

“Playing at Wembley really should be a pleasure because… well, sometimes players never get a chance to play there in their lives,” said former Manchester City boss Mancini. “It’s such a spectacular stadium and I want us to go out there and play well because, well the stadium kind of deserves that.”

Austria advanced as runners-up from Group C, recovering from a 2-0 loss to Netherlands by beating Ukraine 1-0 in their final game.

“We know we’re the underdogs and it’s difficult to judge our realistic chances but even with 10 percent you can achieve a lot,” said Austria coach Franco Foda. “This team has already achieved something spectacular but now we’re focused on taking the next step to make it to Munich.”

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