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Italy EURO 2020 squad

Who are the outsiders at EURO 2020?

After a year-long wait, it's finally time for the EURO 2020. As always a lot of people will try to predict the outcomes of the matches and ultimately predict who is gonna win it. But who are the outsiders to win it this year? Will it be Italy, England, or Belgium that is going to surprise us all during the tournament.

This will be the first of the three long-reads in total, where we are going to take a look at the outsider for the European Championship and that we expect to perform this year. We will start by looking at how the Italian squad is looking and what challenges they face.


Italy

After missing out on the 2018 World Cup, Italy has turned things around under the management of Roberto Mancini. They are in great form with a 27-match unbeaten run and not having lost a game since 2018. According to data from Hypercube Italy has a 9% chance to win the Euros.

Italy will certainly be a country to look out for during the Euros as they will kick off the tournament on Friday against Turkey. It will be interesting to see if they can keep their current form. We will start off by taking a more in-depth look at Italy's defense, followed by a quick analysis of their midfield, and we will close it off by looking at their attacking options.


Defense

The defense has always been the main strength of the team, with the veteran duo Bonnuci and Chiellini. It will be no surprise to see them both at center back during the tournament. If we look at the stats Francesco Acerbi should also get a chance to play during the tournament, as his stats are similar and in some areas like successful defensive actions even better than both Bonnuci and Chiellini. In recent matches, it's usually Florenzi and Spinazzola that play at right- and left-back.


Aerial duels vs percentage won

Analyzing this first scatterplot we also see why Acerbi should get a chance to play at the Euros, he has the most aerial duels and wins most of them with only Chiellini beating him. We see that Bonnuci also wins a pretty decent amount of his aerial duels. We also looked at the overall duels and how much they won. Once again we see Acerbi and Chiellini on a similar level, with Acerbi having slightly fewer duels per match. If we look at Bonnuci we see that he has by far the lowest amount of duels per match and once again has a lower win rate compared to Acerbi and Chiellini. We predict Chiellini and Bonnuci to play together at the Euros as the duo have lots of experience playing together, but we hope to also see Acerbi either as a substitute or in the starting 11.

Duels vs percentage won



Midfield

Italy almost always plays in the classic 4-3-3, and with 6 players that can play in the midfield, it will be very interesting to see who is going to start on the midfield for Italy. to keep the defensive balance within the squad they have Champions League winner Jorginho. He has the best overall defensive stats on the team with 10.98 successful defensive actions per game and 5.33 interceptions per match.


Verratti is the passing maestro on the team, with the highest accuracy of 91.99% and the highest forward pass accuracy as well at 85.75%. Locatelli is also a very good passer within the team, with high accuracy and a lot of forwarding passes.


Attack

Italy has one of the deadliest strikers in the tournament with Immobile, his expected goals per match is currently 0.71 which is by far the highest out of all attackers on the team. With Insigne, Berardi, and Chiesa, Italy has three very dangerous wingers at its disposal. All three wingers have very similar attacking stats, so it will be very interesting to see who is going to start for Italy in the first match against Turkey.


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