As we come closer to the business end of Euro 2020 the excitement, surprises and drama is racking up the spines of all the football fans across the globe. The biggest match out of all the four matches is Belgium against Italy. These two nations share a lot of history and we will get a chance to witness history today too.
The Italian defence knows all about Belgium star Romelu Lukaku. The striker plays for Inter Milan and in the 2020-21 season, he scored 24 goals in 36 matches as his club won the Scudetto for the first time in 11 years. After terrorising Italian defences for the past two seasons the 28-year-old will now be aiming to send Italy packing from the Euros on Friday. Ahead of the quarter-final clash, he has scored three times so far in the tournament, However, Lukaku is yet to score against the pair of Bonnuci and Chiellini. He is just 2 goals shy of being the top scorer in the Euros.
Italy is currently on a 31 match winning streak after beating Austria 2-1 in extra time in the Round of 16. The last time these two met, was in the group stages of the last euros tournament which was held in France in 2016. The Azzurri won that game 2 goals to zero where Giaccherini Pelle scored both the goals but the man of the match was given to Leonardo Bonucci for his amazing defensive display.
In the Round of 16 matches between Belgium and Portugal, the Portuguese players were trying hard to get the equalizer but in the end, they couldn’t do it! During the match, they showed their frustrations on the Belgium players and as a result, Belgium’s key players like Eden Hazard and Kevin de Bruyne got injured and are now doubtful for the quarterfinal clash against Italy. While on the other hand Italy’s Captain, Leader Giorgio Chiellini is doubtful for the match along with defender Alessandro Florenzi who picked up an injury during the group stage matches.
Italy is the only team along with England to concede zero goals in the group stages. This has happened only because of the strong and tough Italian defence. Even though people say that Italy doesn’t attack, Mancini’s men have proved all of them wrong as they scored 7 goals in just 3 games and conceding none. Italy mostly attacks through both wings. On the left, they have very creative and strong players like Insigne and Locatelli whereas on the right-wing they have more kind technical players like Berardi and Chiesa. Italy has incredible squad depth!! They have found new players like Spinazzola, Locatelli, Pessina and many others.
Belgium is in red-hot form since the 2018 world cup defeat to France in the semis. Their coach Roberto Martinez has the GOLDEN GENERATION of BELGIUM at his disposal. It’s now high time for him to bring some silverware. Even though some of their key players are injured, they still have a decent squad to beat Italy. The other hazard that is Thorgan Hazard is looking good and could score a few goals along with their main man Romelu Lukaku. Their only problem is with the defence. They have an ageing defence which could be caught out by oppositions pace. The same is the problem with Italy’s defence even though they haven’t conceded but the space between the fullbacks when Spinazzola goes on the overlapping run, that needs to be covered.
Now let’s see what happens, the Red Devils could win it in normal time or the Italians could win it in extra time as they did it in the Round of 16.