One place to the next stage is already secured by Gli Azzurri. Therefore, this could be a chance for Roberto Mancini to rotate the starting XI, not to mention the unfit condition of some of their key men. Their last game against Wales, which only needs at least one point to keep the runner up position, would be more of a display of Mancini’s back up plan. They are still playing host for this fixture in Olympico Roma.
Both teams’ previous games
Italy secured another impressive win over Switzerland by three goals to nil. Manuel Locatelli bagged a brace followed by Ciro Immobile’s goal before the final whistle to seal one ticket to the knock out stage as the group leader.
Wales also managed to pick up three points while taking on Turkey in Baku Olympic stadium. They dismantled Burak Yilmaz and Co 2-0. Gareth Bale contributed two assists for Aaron Ramsey’s and Conor Roberts’ goal, although he himself missed the penalty.
Roberto Mancini’s offensive approach has been well appreciated. They are not only dangerous while attacking as Italy has scored six goals, but could also keep the cleansheet. Their 4-3-3 formation has been able to optimise the pool attacking talents in Gli Azurri, something which Conte or Gianpiero Venture was unable to do with their 3-5-2 or 4-2-4 formation. In this game, Andrea Belotti should get a nod to rest Immobile. The Torino captain will be accompanied by Federico Chiesa and Federico Bernardeschi on both flanks. The absence of Marco Verratti, Alessandro Florenzi and Giorgio Chiellini can still be covered by Gaetano Castrovili, Giovanni de Lorenzo and Francesco Acerbi.
Meanwhile, Rob Page will have to come up with different tactical approach to avoid conceding too many or not at all. The 4-3-2-1 can be considered by piling up defensive midfielders before the backline such as Joe Morrell, Aaron Ramsey and Ethan Ampadu. Bale and Daniel James or Harry Wilson could support Kiefer Moore upfront.
Players to watch
This is the chance for Belotti to shine, should he be given a chance in the starting XI. The Torino man netted 13 goals and six assists in Serie A this season. Another expected key man to watch is Federico Chiesa who can be deployed in various positions from the winger, wing back to forward centre.
The Welsh wizard seems to remain the vital figure in The Dragons. Bale has notched up 33 goals in 94 caps. Another notable name to watch is none but the only Welsh player in Serie A this season, Aaron Ramsey. He contributed two goals and four assists for La Vecchia Signora.
Italy vs Wales Prediction
Gli Azzurri is still the favourite here. They might still be the slightly stronger side than Rob Page’s men who are likely to play deeper waiting for their chance to initiate the counter attack while the home side will control and dominate the game plus ball possession. A narrow win for Leonardo Bonucci and Co is very plausible.
The home side is the slight favourite in this clash. They are backed to win at 40/85. The value for a draw is the highest at 16/5 whereas Wales’s win market is at 11/2.