Belgium & Italy Battling to Reach Euro 2020 Semi-finals

Following their impressive performances in the group stages of the tournament, both Belgium and Italy presented themselves as genuine candidates to win Euro 2020. However, now they have crossed paths in the quarter-finals, only one has the potential of going all the way to the final.

The Red Devils will lock horns with the Azzurri at the Allianz Arena in Munich, with kick-off scheduled for 21:00 local time on Friday 2 July. This winner-takes-all knockout meeting has all the right ingredients to be a thrilling encounter, filled with exciting moments that will keep fans on the edges of their seats.

The latest Belgium v Italy betting odds certainly add an interesting angle, as both teams approach this crucial game. The Belgians led by Roberto Martinez are actually regarded as slight underdogs, valued at 23/10 odds to claim victory within 90 minutes. Meanwhile, the Italians are backed as favourites at 13/10 odds.

Just to add some extra spice for those intending to bet on the game, Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku is tipped at 9/2 odds to be the first goalscorer of the match, while Ciro Immobile has been handed 5/1 odds in the same market for Italy. So far at the tournament, Lukaku has scored 3 goals in 4 appearances, with Immobile on 2 goals in 3 games.

Although the Belgians have a strong squad of players to choose from, there are doubts about the availability of two key players. After they both suffered injuries in the Round of 16 win against Portugal, head coach Martinez confirmed that Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard will miss the Italy game.

Martinez suggested they have a 50-50 chance of being fit enough for the semi-finals, if Belgium makes it through. The loss of these two dynamic players will come as a huge blow for Belgium. 30-year-old Eden Hazard appeared to be getting better with each game, while De Bruyne was proving inspirational for his national team. 

30-year-old De Bruyne put on a masterclass during his first appearance at the tournament, making an impressive contribution when Belgium trailed in their second group match against Denmark. He provided the assist for Thorgan Hazard to level the game, then drilled in the winner after a flowing team move by the Belgians.

By comparison, Italy doesn’t appear to have any further injury concerns, aside from that of veteran defender Giorgio Chiellini. The 36-year-old centre-back became the most-capped outfield player for his country against Turkey, then suffered a hamstring injury in the following match against Switzerland. Although his presence on the pitch would undoubtedly be missed, the Italians do have plenty of cover if he remains unavailable.

Unfortunate circumstances appear to have knocked the chances of Belgium progressing, although they should never be underestimated, thanks to quality backup options for the absentees. As for the Italians, the side led by Roberto Mancini is now 31 games unbeaten, so they will be eager to extend that streak all the way to the Euro 2020 final.