2021 – group A: who will accompany Italy in the round of 16?

Group A delivers its verdict on Sunday with Italy-Wales and Turkey-Switzerland simultaneously. If in the case of the first, the two teams will try to win first place in the group, the second match will be the last chance to hope to stay in this Euro.

The group phase of Euro-2021 is finally moving towards its outcome. Group A is the first to deliver its verdict on Sunday, June 20. Attractive Italy, already qualified for the round of 16, faces Wales as Switzerland and Turkey meet in hopes of being awarded a best third ticket.

• Italy-Wales: a game for the first place

A 30th game in a row without defeat would give the Azzurri first place in the group, already qualified for the knockout stages of the Euro after their two great victories against Turkey and Switzerland (twice 3-0).

Wales (2nd), also off to a good start with 4 points to be at least in the best third, would ensure the eighth with a draw. Gareth Bale and others, semi-finalists of Euro-2016, will even be first in case of success at the Olimpico. But for that to happen, we need to bring down an undefeated Italian team since September 2018, against Portugal (0-1).

Will Roberto Mancini take the opportunity to preserve his holders and launch Marco Verratti, recovered from his right knee injury in early May? Probable, especially since the second in group A should not draw a very tough opponent in the eighth.

The first will face the second from Group B (Belgium, Finland, Russia, Denmark) and the second will meet the second from Group C (Netherlands, Ukraine, Austria).

“Better to finish first or second in view of the table? To play, to play well and to try to win, we have no other objectives. We play to win, usually, it’s our principle. (…) London or Amsterdam (the possible stages in the eighth, Editor’s note), it’s not a big problem, we’ll go where we have to go, “said Roberto Mancini. “Wales are a difficult team, which have been at the top of the Fifa rankings for years, which means they have quality players. They are a British team and therefore physically strong. They have already made a Euro semi-final (in 2016), it will be a difficult match. “

For the Welsh, on the other hand, taking at least one point is important. A draw and Gareth Bale’s teammates are guaranteed to finish in the top two. A defeat and Switzerland (3rd, 1pt) will have a small chance to overtake them and drag them to third place, which promises at best an eighth against a big fish.

• Switzerland-Turkey: win to hope

The other group A match will oppose the two selections who will fight not to finish in last place. In Baku, Turkey will face, with the obligation to win to take third place and have a slim chance of being drafted among the best third.

“We are in a situation where we will need a miracle,” said Turkish coach Senol Gunes. “It would be very sad to come home without a single victory.”

The Turks are dead last in Group A, with two losses in two games, against Italy and Wales, and no goals scored. The Turks, with a very unfavorable goal difference (-5), risk going by the wayside even in the event of victory. Unlike the “Nati” which, if it wins, would have 4 points and therefore a good chance of finishing among the best third. A draw, on the other hand, will almost certainly doom both teams.

With AFP

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