The Italian football has regressed; no one can deny that. Can they pull an upset and be one of the teams to beat in the Euro 2016?
Italy Odds To Win Euro 2016 are the sixth best amongst the 24 participants, but is it really worth the risk? The Italians got to the Euro final four years ago before getting hammered by Spain in the final with a 4-0 result. The odds listed them at 17.0 to win the European title.
They have lacked playmakers since winning the 2006 World Cup, and in recent tournaments, meaning the last two WC, they haven’t been able to advance more than just the group stage.
Let’s face it; there isn’t anybody that can really carry this team. Andrew Pirlo is old and unlikely to be called for the tournament. He’s in the MLS close to retirement. Their next big name also plays in the MLS; Sebastian Giovinco decided to cut his career short and give a shot on the other side of the world.
Unlike Pirlo, in certain Giovinco will be called for this tournament, but how much he can impact his team is yet to be determinate.
By this time Italy was hoping their star would be Mario Balotelli, but we are far away from that possibility. Since 2012, perhaps Mario’s best tournament, he has wondered around several teams, including Liverpool and AC Milan.
Currently playing with the Rossoneri, Balotelli comes off the bench and hasn’t really made an impact on his team.
Italy will be in group E along Belgium (2.0), Sweden (7.0) and the Republic of Ireland (13.0). The Italians are second favorites to win the zone, listed at 2.63 at the online sportsbook Bodog, behind the Belgian.
“I think Belgium are an excellent team and are among the favourites for the final stages,” the Azzurri coach, Antonio Conte said. “They have a young team and a lot of top players in their ranks.
“Then I see pretty equal teams with Sweden, us and Ireland. I think Belgium are among the favourites.”
Italy will open against Belgium on June 13 at the State de Lyon. Their second challenge will be against Sweden on June 17 at the Stadium de Toulouse, and they close the group stage against Ireland on June 22 at the State Pierre Mauroy in Lille.
Italy have a great coach in Antonio Conte, but a manager is as good as his options on the pitch. The Italians are not a great bet for this tournament; although they should get to the second stage.