Belgium vs Italy Euro 2021 Prediction and Betting Tips
Belgium vs Italy will be the second game in the quarterfinals of Euro 2020. The Belgium vs Italy match will take place on June 2 at 2100 hrs Central Eastern European Summer Time at the Allianz Arena in Munich,Germany.
Belgium Form, potential line up and Tactics
Belgium qualified for the quarter finals in Euro 2020 by defeating Portugal 1-0 in the round of 16. With this victory over Portugal Belgium have equalled their longest winning streak at major tournaments, winning five in a row for the second time (both under Roberto Martínez).
Belgium have won 10 of their 11 games across the World Cup and European Championships since Martínez took charge.
Belgium’s last match against Portugal was not easy. The first half was a bit slow and boring but Thorgan Hazard’s amazing goal from outside the box changed the tempo of the game in the second half.
Portugal was attacking viciously in the second half especially after the introduction of Joao Felix and Bruno Fernandes.
This is also reflected in the statistics…
Belgium had 6 attempts during the game, with 1 attempt on target while Portugal had a massive 23 attempts during the game.
Belgium succeeded primarily because of three reasons:
- They were a well drilled and disciplined squad.
- Belgium were tactically fluid, they could easily form into a compact shape, spread out and press high when in possession and finally, they were also good at quick counter attacks.
- Belgium were also excellent at closing space.
Keep these three points in mind because these three points will help you understand our prediction for the Belgium vs Italy game in the quarter final of Euro 2020.
Check out our predictions for Italy vs England in the Euro 2020 final
This performance is not surprising from Belgium. Unlike many teams like Germany whose main players retired after their peak, Belgium’s squad has retained its main talent while introducing newer players who play regularly.
Belgium lines up in a 3-4-3 formation. When Belgium needs to defend the two wide midfielders, Thorgan Hazard and Thomas Meunier drop back in defence while the two forwards fall back in midfield and Lukaku stays ahead. Effectively, in defence, Belgium’s shape resembles a 4-5-1 in defence.
Belgium likes to build from the back and attack from the left. The wide midfielders push wide while the two wide forwards cut inside the box. The midfielders are the key part in this system as they create scintillating crosses and passes into the box and or can make overlapping runs into the box and shoot.
The other key component of this system is one of the best creative players in the world, Kevin De Bruyne. We will explain his role through the picture below that explains how Belgium attack.
Belgium like to pile on the pressure on their opponents by pressing their team high up the pitch as you can see from the picture above.
The three man defence is sitting at the halfway line. Thorgan Hazard can go wide and make crosses. If the ball is on the right, He will stay a bit further back and wait for the opportunity to burst into the box.
We saw him do exactly that in his goal against Portugal in the round of 16.
In attack, Belgium’s shape looks like a 3-2-5. The two wide midfielders join the 3 forwards while the two midfielders stay a bit further back to try and win the ball if Belgium loses possession.
De Bruyne creates a lot of options and chances because of the way he plays. He can run into the box, play one-two passes with the right midfielder and drift wide to create crosses, he can run straight if Belgians are attacking from the left.
Apart from his off the ball movements, if he gets the ball he can create many chances which are represented by the red curved lines in the picture above.
He can create through balls for Meunier on the right, stretch the play and pass it to the left midfielder, create through balls and aerial long balls for the forwards or he can add extra pressure by letting one of the midfielders (usually tielemans) join the attack and an an extra man in attack in the box and giving him a chances to shoot.
Belgium are a solid side with good defensive discipline. But they are prone to quick counter attacks because their centerbacks Alderweireld,Vermaelen and Vertonghen are 32,35 and 34 respectively.
Their experience does help them position properly, set effective offside traps and anticipate the game well but they have to rely on the 2 midfielders in front of them to prevent these long balls.
Belgium can also be exposed in one of the flanks (usually the left) where they attack from which Italy could exploit.
Belgium can be especially exposed to risk if one of their midfielders joins the attack and fails to track back.
In the game against Portugal though the Belgium players showed good defensive discipline often falling back and preventing Portugal from attacking, but when Portugal brought on more attacking players they showed that Belgium’s exceptional and compact defense can still be broken down.
When De Bruyne was not present Belgium weren’t able to create a lot of chances during the group stage. He was taken off at half time and we are waiting for an update regarding his injury. His absence will affect Belgium’s opportunities for creating chances.
Belgium Predicted Line up For Belgium vs Italy
Hazard and De Bruyne were taken off in Belgium’s game against Portugal because of injury concerns. According to Belgium’s manager, Roberto Martinez both of them are set to miss out the quarter final game against Italy.
Italy Form, potential line up and Tactics
Italy qualified for the quarterfinals after defeating Austria 2-1 in extra time in the round of 16. After their victory over Austria Italy are now undefeated in 31 games. Italy’s last defeat was in September 2018 in a nations league game against Portugal.
This was the first real test for Italy in the European Championship after they cruised through the group stage conceding ZERO goals and scoring 7 goals in 3 games.
We have covered Italy’s tactics in our previous match reviews in slotfreespin but we will be covering them nonetheless here and demonstrate how Italy played in the group stage and against Austria.
We will then highlight their strengths and weaknesses and predict how they will play against Belgium and then try to make a prediction based on this information. If you like to bet on football games we will then be giving you some nice betting tips for the Belgium vs Italy game in Euro 2020.
How Italy played during Euro 2020- the numbers
Italy is currently ranked 7th best team in Europe according to Fifa’s ranking. Italy was in group A of Euro 2020 where they faced Switzerland who are ranked 13th,Wales who are ranked 17th and Turkey who are ranked 29th in Europe.
Italy beat Turkey 3-0, a side that had conceded just 3 goals during the qualifiers for Euro 2020. They then went on to beat Switzerland 3-0 , a team which is also very hard to break down because they defend very well but can also attack on the counter and they did the same with Wales who can also be deadly on the counter but is hard to break down.
In the group stage Italy demonstrated that they could break down teams that can sit back and defend.
This reflects in their stats during the group stage:
- Italy scored 7 goals. They were tied with Belgium and Portugal on 2nd spot for the most number of goals during the group stage.
- Italy had also the second highest attempts on goal at 60, only 1 shy of Denmark who had 61 attempts. There was a clear gap between these two teams and other teams. The team with the third highest attempts was Switzerland, with 47 attempts, 13 less than Italy.
How Italy played during Euro 2020- the tactics
Along with France, Italy is known to be the fashion capital of the world. Just like the French the Italians are known to be elegant and this reflects in the style of Football they play under their current manager Roberto Mancini.
Under Mancini Italy:
- Usually plays in a 4-3-3 formation
- Plays a direct style of football with high pressing
- Builds from the back and has the ability to quickly turn defence into attack.
Italy’s formation looks something like this.
In defence, the other 2 attackers Insigne and Berardi would fall back with the three men in midfield (Jorginho,Locatelli and Barella) to make it look more like a 4-5-1 formation with Immobile as the lone striker staying in front of them waiting for the counter attack when Italy won the ball.
It’s in attack though Italy would look like the picture below:
So when Italy were building up attacks, the entire team would push very high up the pitch with one defender, Bonucci staying a bit further back, Chiellini pushing a bit further forward, Florenzi the right back, forming a back three and flanking Chiellini, Jorginho just staying ahead of them.
This allowed them to form a diamond and create many passing opportunities to crack open compact defences from the back while committing men forward.
The Left back Spinnazola was given the freedom to attack from wide and whip in crosses into the box while the wide left forward Insigne would cut inside the box with Immobile.
Berrardi would stay a bit wide.
Italy had a preference for attacking from the left. If the attack was catching steam, then one of the midfielders, like barrella, would push into the box.
This meant that Italy had 5 men in the box. Keep this fact in mind. If you remember correctly Belgium would try to have 5 men in the box as well with the two wide midfielders joining the defenders.
The front three are dynamic and fluid, which means that they keep switching positions. The striker Ciro Immobile can fall back to collect the ball and make amazing through balls for the other two forwards.
In midfield Jorginho starts behind the other two midfielders who usually push forward more.
Jorginho is extremely talented in winning back balls and turning defence into attack by making through balls and long balls from deep.
Even Verratti and Locatelli are good at doing Jorginho’s job so if Jorginho is marked.
Just Like Belgium, Italy’s defenders are quite old and slow but very talented. Italy are also quite exposed for counter attacks from the left as Spinazzola likes to bomb forward. They may also be liable to broken down from the wide.
Italy Predicted line up
Verratti has justified his reintroduction to the squad. After missing out against Austria, Captain Chiellini and the right back Florenzi might be back at the back. Chiesa might get his first start in the Euro 2020 because of his performance and goal against Austria
Belgium vs Italy Euro 2021 Predictions
- Belgium face a major disadvantage because of De Bruyne’s injury.
- Belgium will struggle to create chances in De Bruyne’s absence just like they did during the group stage. Belgium will try to hit Italy on the counter to score.
- Italy on it’s part would be better at countering Belgium because they have the players that can progress the ball quickly from defense into attack, Belgium can do that as well but statistically speaking they are not better than Italy in doing so .
- Belgium would be more prone to counter attacks if they decide to push Tielemans further forward. The reason for this is simple, If Tielemans decides to be more daring and run into the box, Belgium would struggle to win the ball with just Witsel. Menieur would try to cover that space as well as the space on the right. If Meunier pushes up as well to fill this space, Belgium will have just men at the back and the could attack from the left easily with Spinnazola from a good counter attacking move.
- Belgium can switch things up and try to attack Italy from the right instead of preferring to attack from the left. This would be done to exploit the space that Spinnazolla tends to leave behind when he is bombing forward from the left.
- Belgium will be wary of the threat from Spinnazzola so they might instruct Tielemans to be careful so that Meunier can defend against a potential counter from Spinnazzola. Unless Belgium concedes they will exercise this caution.
- Italy on the other hand will have a numerical advantage in midfield. The reasons for this is how they attack vs how they defend. As we pointed out earlier, Italy falls back in a 4-5-1 whereas Belgium attacks in a 3-2-5 or a 2-3-6. This leaves Belgium at an advantage in front of goal because Italy have 4 men at the back.
But Jorginho can fall further back in the box and which means Italy have 5 men at the back but because Jorginho is very quick he can win the ball and progress it into midfield or pass it wide to Spinazzola which leaves Belgium at a disadvantage numerically.
- Italy’s midfielders are better at making interceptions. Jorginho made an average of 2.8 interceptions per game, Verratti made 1 and Locatelli made 0.7. Whereas in the Belgium side Axel Witsel made an average of 0 and Tielemans made 1. Dendoncker who played in place of Witsel during most of the group stage also made 1.
This is a key stat because it gives us a picture of how likely a team’s midfield is to prevent dangerous balls from reaching their defenders.
- Jorginho also made 0.8 through balls per game, whereas only Tielemans managed to make a through ball which was 0.3 per game. De Bruyne had the same average but if he misses the game then Belgium lose their creative edge even more.
This statistic seems to suggest that Italy again are at an advantage in making dangerous balls from midfield either during a counter attack or by patiently building up an attack.
- A final piece of important statistic that Belgian fans might not like to see is the number of long balls created per game. Yet again, Italy’s midfield wins here. Verratti, Locatelli and Jorginho created 2.3,2.5 and 1.8 long balls per game compared to Belgium’s midfielders Witsel and Tielemans who managed only 1.7 per game. This means Italy’s midfielders are more skilled at making dangerous long balls to their forwards that could penetrate defences compared to Belgium’s midfielders.
Belgium though had De Bruyne who made an average of 4 which is slightly above Italy’s forward, Insigne who made 3.7. This yet again suggests that Belgium have a clear reliance on De Bruyne for creating chances. If De Bruyne misses the game Belgium will suffer even more in terms of chance creation.
Based on these factors we can see that both teams do have quality in depth, are in great form, and have complementary weaknesses.
But that being said, Italy has a slight edge in midfield thanks to Jorginho and Verratti and at least on paper are a stronger threat when it comes to recovering balls and progressing the balls to their attackers and quickly turning defence into attack.
Based on these facts we expect the Belgium vs Italy game to end 1-0.
Belgium vs Italy Euro 2021 Odds
Bookmakers are offering the following odds for the Belgium vs Italy game in Euro 2020:
- Belgium 3.30
- Draw 3.15
- Italy 2.33
From these odds we can clearly see that Italy are favorites to win this quarterfinal game.
Bookmaker offers for Belgium vs Italy and Euro 2020
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Belgium vs Italy Betting Tips
The reason for that is simple, the odds for both teams are above 2.0 and it will be a closely contested match.
This means that you can double your money by betting on Italy and triple your money if you bet on Belgium.
That being said, we have a betting tip for you that could help you win some money no matter who wins…
Place one bet on Italy to win and one bet(of equal amount) on Belgium to win. In this case you only lose your money if there is a draw but that is unlikely to happen in such a crucial game.
So essentially what you do is you split your budget for the game. Let’s say you have a budget of €200 for this game. You place one bet of €100 on Italy and another €100 on Belgium.
If Belgium wins your Profit percentage would be 65% because your profit would be €330-€200=€130.
If Italy wins you would still end up with a 16.5% profit (€233-€200=€33. 33 is 16.5% of 200).
Sure, this system means that your profit percentage would be lower if you just bet on one team (133 % profit if you just bet on Italy and 230% if you just bet on Belgium) but this system ensures that you don’t lose any money.
Keep in mind that this is not a fool proof system. If the match ends in a draw you will lose but as we pointed out earlier, the likelihood of a draw is very low.
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If you liked our predictions for the Belgium vs Italy quarterfinal match in Euro 2020, check out our other previews for the quarterfinals: