Italy finished first in Group A with three wins out of three scoring seven goals and conceding zero along the way becoming the first team in history to win all three group matches without conceding a single goal at the European Championships.
They face an Austrian team who finished second in Group C on a respectable six points, three behind leaders Netherlands.
However, as all three of Italy’s games came on home soil, they have to travel to Wembley (England) for this tie, so it will be interesting to see how they fare.
- Head to head:
In their last five previous meetings, Italy have W3, D2 scoring eight and conceding five goals along the way.
Italy are 1/47 to win the game and Austria are 8/00 to win the game.
- Previous defensive record:
Italy have kept three out of three clean sheets while winning all three games, whereas Austria have won two out of three group matches, conceding three along the way.
- Players to watch:
Ciro Immobile has found the net in each of his last three appearances for Italy. Six of Christoph Baumgartner’s (Austria) last seven competitive goals have arrived before halftime, including his crucial strike last time out against Ukraine.
- Team News:
Alessandro Florenzi and Giorgio Chiellini (Italy) are out with a calf and muscle injury respectively. Valentino Lazaro and Martin Hinteregger (Austria) are out with muscle injuries.
Misses next match if booked: Pessina (Italy)
Misses next match if booked: Alaba, Bachmann, Lainer (Austria)
- Predicted Line-ups:
Italy possible line-up: Donnarumma; Di Lorenzo, Bonucci, Acerbi, Spinazzola; Barella, Jorginho, Locatelli; Berardi, Immobile, Insigne
Austria possible line-up: Bachmann; Lainer, Dragović, Hinteregger, Alaba; Laimer, Grillitsch, X. Schlager; Sabitzer, Baumgartner; Arnautović
Roberto Mancini, Italy: “Now another tournament begins. If the boys continue to play like they are doing, I’m happy – that’s all I ask for. Verratti or Locatelli? Someone good will not play.”
Franco Foda, Austria: “In this phase of the tournament there are no easy opponents. Italy haven’t lost for an eternity but perhaps there will come a time when they lose again. It will be important for us to prepare with focus and recover, then we will do everything we can to win in London. It will be tough but the team are eager and ready. I have a plan.”
Last six form guide:
Italy will no doubt be favourites in this tie but do not write off Austria, as Marco Foda may stick with his winning side and hope they can pull off a shock. Although they will need to get past the solid Italian defence first. It will be hard to do as Italy have not conceded in this tournament.
As winners are musts in the round of 16, anything can happen where we may see the first big shock of the tournament or one firm favourite through to the next stage.