Italy national team take on Ireland in the third match of the group stage of European Championship 2016. The match is taking place in Lille at Stade Pierre Mauroy on Wednesday, June 22nd.
Italy have guaranteed the place in knockout stage after two wins in two starting matches of the competition. First match ended with confident 2-0 win over favorites Belgium and the second one against Sweden was won after late decider. Conte’s men show solid defensive football and punish their opponents with counterattacks. This is how Azzurri played for decades and no other national team comes close to copying this style of football. Match against Sweden was good example of this football as the Ibra and Co haven’t taken a single shot of goal. Conte has possibility to give some time on the pitch to players who aren’t his starters in the second time as Italy won’t move from the first place in the group regardless of the match’s result.
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Ireland showed nice football in their first match against Sweden, but failed to hold on to advantage and drew that match. However, they completely failed against Belgium, losing 0-3 and having no chance to stop strong offensive line of the opponents. Such results leave the team small chances to continue battling in round of last 16 as they need only three points in match against Italy, who surprised with top-level football in France.
The opponents met ten time since their first head-to-head in 1970. Five of these matches were won by Azzurri, three ended with draws and twice Ireland were stronger side. We shouldn’t expect teams to create numerous scoring opportunities in the match as Italy need resources for upcoming playoffs while Ireland don’t look like the team who can score to Buffon more than once.
Prediction for the match: Under 3.0 goals.