We’re rapidly approaching the big event of the summer as the rescheduled UEFA Euro 2020 tournament looms large. We’ll see 24 nations attempting to go all the way and win the big one, with preparations then immediately shifting to next year’s FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
But before we can even think about that, we’ve got to get through a handful of international friendlies before the Euros commence. One such example came last night when Italy went toe to toe with Czech Republic and, while they may both have qualified for the Euros, this felt like a one-sided beating as the Italians ran out 4-0 winners courtesy of goals from Immobile, Barella, Insigne and Barella.
Three years unbeaten
Italy last lost a game back in 2018 which, in itself, is a bit insane. They’re desperate to make up for the embarrassment they felt in not qualifying for the World Cup that year and instead of going further within themselves, they’ve been able to bounce back with the sort of ruthless aggression needed at this level. Roberto Mancini feels like the right man at the right time to steer the ship, and they could be one to watch not just this summer – but for the next few tournaments.
The days of the Czech Republic causing problems for bigger nations at the Euros appear to be long gone and while we could be proven wrong on that in just a matter of weeks, this performance showed us that they’re in a spot of bother. They’ll be competing in a group with England, Croatia and Scotland and somehow, we actually think they’re the favourites to finish fourth. We don’t know what can be done to alter their status quo between now and the start of the tournament, but it needs to be drastic.
The Azzurri are legit
We’ve already spoken about why we believe Italy to be the major dark horses in the Euros this summer and with every passing game, there’s a sense of validation within that prediction. They just seem to have this ability to grind teams down at the back, all the while managing to maintain a strong defensive presence themselves. That’s an incredibly tricky balance to strike and it’s almost time to see whether or not it can translate over to the big stage, with Italy kicking off the tournament this coming Friday when they take on a Turkey side with nothing to lose.
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