The wait is growing in Munich for Italy-Belgium, quarter-finals of Euro 2020. Since the morning in the central Marienplatz thousands of Italian and Belgian fans, all very colorful, have begun to throw choruses and teases with the names of Immobile and Lukaku among the most popular. Approximately 14,500 fans are expected at the Allianz Arena. Of these, about 10 thousand should be Italian. Someone in possession of the precious tickets is ready to resell them even for 350 euros and more. To enter the stadium it will be necessary to take a swab or present a vaccination certificate. For the occasion, a special center was set up near the stadium.
Meanwhile, Mancini’s national team carried out a classic muscle reactivation this morning, followed by lunch, rest and the technical meeting before going to the stadium. Already yesterday in front of the hotel of the national team groups of fans who also had the opportunity to receive the greeting of a blue delegation.
The official formations:
Italy (4-3-3): Gianluigi Donnarumma; Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Spinazzola; Nicolo Barella, Jorginho, Marco Verratti; Federico Chiesa, Lorenzo Insigne, Ciro Immobile
Belgium (3-4-2-1): Thibaut Courtois; Toby Alderweireld, Thomas Vermaelen, Jan Vertonghen; Thomas Meunier, Axel Witsel, Youri Tielemans, Thorgan Hazard; Kevin De Bruyne, Jeremy Doku, Romelu Lukaku
Inside tonight’s clash between Italy and Belgium, valid for the Euro2020 quarter-finals, there is also the challenge between two teams with identity at the extremes that are revealed with a football X-ray. On the one hand there is a young and sparkling Italy characterized by technical and medium-sized players, on the other a Belgium who has advanced in years, which relies on the experience and physicality of its players, especially between the median and the defence. The team designed by coach Mancini with a renewal process is young and can count on an average age of 27, raised only by the Azzurri senators in defense: the goalkeeper Sirigu (34 years old) and the defenders Bonucci and Chiellini who respectively turned 34 off. and 36 candles. The Red Devils, on the other hand, are the oldest squad of the continental competition with an average age of 30, the result of nine players beyond this threshold including the battery of the three starting defenders and the Neapolitan winger Mertens.
Italy is betting everything on athleticism and individual speed to make the Belgian defense dance: so far in the tournament Italy has run 452 kilometers against the 407 of the opponents. At the top of the ranking is the metronome Jorginho who has covered over 46 km in 4 games, behind him Spinazzola and Meunier, the two arrows in the wing, with about 34 km. The Roma full-back climbs to first place in terms of speed: he reached peaks of 34 kilometers per hour, followed by Chiesa with 33 and by Di Lorenzo with 32. On the other hand, the first to appear in the ranking is the defender Vertonghen despite age, a fact that speaks volumes about the Belgian team’s ability to ‘snatch’. Finally, there is the game factor: in Monaco two national teams take the field tonight characterized by a proactive game, made up of cuts, verticalizations and prolific offensive productions. With Italy that abandoned the catenacciaro stereotype and has proved, up to now, more proactive than the Red Devils.
In terms of goals scored at Euro2020, the Azzurri win with 9 goals against 8 in Belgium. Goals resulting respectively from 23 and 17 shots on target, with Italy often inaccurate, 41 shots out against their 15. As regards the average center of gravity during the European Championship, Italy is at 53.4 meters, Belgium at 50.5 meters, a sign of a greater invasion of the opposing half. As for the offensive stationing, Mancini’s national team in the first 4 matches has never dropped below 53%, that is, it has always been more in the enemy half than in its own. Belgium, on the other hand, three out of four times remained more on his side.
An imbalance that is also linked to international competitions and experience with the national team: five Belgians are over 100 appearances, with Lukaku at 98 destined to be added to the list of the old guard. Among the Azzurri, on the other hand, the only survivors of the past generation are Chiellini and Bonucci who in two add 217 tokens, followed by the most present is Immobile with 50. But tonight’s challenge at the Allianz Stadium in Monaco is not only dictated by age but also from the physical and athletic conformation of the two selections on the field.
The Azzurri, especially in midfield, rely on a pocket median with good technical qualities and great dynamism: Verratti is 1.65 tall, Barella 1.72, only Jorginho reaches 1.80. In front, with the exception of the handsome building (1.85 meters), there is the Neapolitan Insigne wing with 1.63 and on the other side the Church with 1.75. A completely different story in the Belgian home where the giants Vertonghen (1.89), Alderweireld (1.87) and Vermaelen (1.83) dominate in defense and in midfield the players are well placed: apart from Tielemans (1.76) there are Witsel (1.86) and De Bruyne (1.82) with great physical strength. In front, needless to say, is the weight tip Lukaku: ‘Big Rom’ can count on 1.91 in height and 93 kilos of muscle which combined with great speed have made him a nightmare for the Serie A defenders in the championship recently concluded.
What the bookmakers say
The victory suffered against Austria did not affect the credit enjoyed by the Azzurri, who play as favorites even against Belgium, in the first exam against one of the real big players of Euro 2020. The match sees Italy pass the turn to 1.60 on Stanleybet.it, while the red devils are at 2.30. Considering only the regular time, the “2” of the Azzurri is played at 2.36, with the Belgian victory given at 3.30. In the round of 16, four out of eight games made it to extra time. A signal of equilibrium which contributes to keeping the “X” share rather low, at 3.00, also in the case of Belgium-Italy. Interesting is the combo scorers-exact result, with Ciro Immobile expected to have a great performance after the complicated eighth against Austria. A goal from the Lazio center forward combined with the 1-2 is worth 17. Follows the 0-2 to 18, while the 0-1 pays 20 times the stakes. On the other hand, the Inter player Romelu Lukaku is very frightening, whose marking together with Belgium’s 2-1 is worth 19, while in the case of 1-0 and a goal by the Nerazzurri 9 the odds are 21.
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