EURO 2016, Group E: Belgium vs Italy – Preview
Venue: Stade des Lumieres
Date: Monday, June 13
Italy open their Euro 2016 campaign with a tough fixture against dark horses Belgium at the Stade des Lumieres on Monday. Considered a typical tournament team, Italy will have their work cut out against a very talented Belgian side.
Marc Wilmots will be delighted to welcome back Eden Hazard and Thomas Vermaelen into the starting line-up after the duo had an injury scare.
Known for their defensive discipline, the Azzurri will rely heavily on Leonardo Bonucci, Andrea Barzagli and Giorgio Chiellini to keep the flamboyant Belgian attack at bay.
Interestingly, the Red Devils have never beaten Antonio Conte’s men in their three encounters at major tournaments. The last five meetings between them have produced 18 goals.
Despite entering the tournament without key players, the Italians remain one of the favorites to lift the title. It must be noted that they were unbeaten in their qualifying campaign.
This match is likely to boil down to a tactical ballte between Belgium's attack and Italy's defense. One thing is for sure, this is the match of the tournament so far.
Possible starting XIs
Belgium: Courtois; Alderweireld, Denayer, Vermaelen, Vertonghen; Witsel, Nainggolan; Mertens, De Bruyne, Hazard; Lukaku.
Italy: Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; Candreva, Parolo, De Rossi, Giaccherini, Darmian; Immobile, Zaza.
Belgium 1-1 Italy