Belgium and Italy will go head to head at 20:00 tonight, July 2, 2021, and one of the national teams will exit Euro 2020 while the other will play in the semi-finals. The quarter-final encounter will take place at the Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany.
Tonight’s game will mark the 5th time Belgium and Italy have met in a major tournament. Their last four meetings took place in the group stages of the 1954 World Cup and European Championship in 1980, 2000, and 2016.
The most interesting stats about Italy as far as the European Championship is concerned is that in the last three editions of the European Championship, Italy made it to the quarter-finals stage of the tournament and the games were decided by penalty shootouts. Out of the last three quarter-finals appearances, the Italian team scaled through to the semi-finals once.
While Belgium have shown consistency in the European Championship lately. In their last 8 games in the tournament, the Belgian team won 7 and lost once. The last time they lost in the competition was in the quarter-finals stage in the 2016 edition.
The current form of Belgium and Italy
Belgium and Italy are two of the teams that many believe have all it takes to win Euro 2020 and they have proven that since the tournament started.
Recall that Italy made it to the quarter-final stage of the ongoing tournament after winning all their last four games and conceded just a goal in the process.
The only problem with the four conservative victories is that Italy have never won five games in a row in the history of the tournament. Hence, football fans would want to see how such a jinx would be broken tonight.
As for Belgium, they have not recorded a defeat so far in the tournament as they have continued to show that this edition is one of their best chance to win the European Championship.
FIFA rated the Belgian team number one in the world for a reason and tonight could be the moment they will show the world that such a rating is not a fluke.
Players to look out for
The teams are blessed with talents in almost every department. From the goalkeeper to the attack, both sides have capable game-changers.
However, the biggest threat in the Belgian side remains the Inter Milan talisman Romelu Lukaku. The striker has scored three goals so far in Euro 2020.
On the other side, Italy will bank on the firepower of Ciro Immobile who has scored two goals and provided one assist so far in the tournament.
Team News for Italy and Belgium
Italy have little or no injury worry heading into tonight’s blockbuster against Belgium. Hence, football lovers are expected to see the same Italy they have been enjoying from the group stage of the tournament.
As for Belgium, they are likely to be without Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne who spent most of the week trying to be fit enough for the quarter-finals encounter.
The coach of the side, Roberto Martinez said the medical team of Belgium was yet to confirm whether or not the two players will be available for the game as of yesterday night, July 1. He however noted that De Bruyne might be fit enough for the game.
“It will be difficult for Eden to play tomorrow because of a soft tissue injury and maybe a little different for Kevin who’s had a ligament problem,” he said.
“We know that we are fighting against time but we are going to take until the last minute to take the decision. We have seen an improvement but we’ll only see tomorrow whether they can be involved or not. Unfortunately, we cannot decide at the moment.”