Italy started the tournament confidently, beating Turkey 3-0. The Italians continued their good performance in their match against Switzerland, the main rival in the group, which they also beat 3-0. The last match of the group against Wales was a bit more difficult, as they were beaten by just one goal (1-0), but throughout the match there was no question as to which team was the more powerful, with the Italians having 23 shots on target, 6 of which were on target, while Wales had just 3 shots on target.
The Italians have not lost in international competition for 30 consecutive games and have 11 wins in a row. What's more, in none of those 11 wins has the Italian national team conceded a goal. The results are truly impressive and the more we go on, the more we see the Italian national team getting better and better in the bookmakers' predictions. The team, which was only 5-6 before the start of the championship, has now risen to 2nd place in the bookmakers' rankings, behind only France.
The Italians are also the clear favourites against Austria, and perhaps the only enemy that can stop them from winning this match is themselves. If the team maintains the same or at least similar form to what we saw in the group stage, does not "lose its head" and plays as well as it can play, we should see the Italian team in the next round.
The Austrian team started the tournament with a 3-1 victory over one of the tournament's outsiders, North Macedonia. This was followed by a 2-0 defeat against the Netherlands, in which, despite not scoring a goal, Austria managed to create chances and came close to scoring. In the final group match against Ukraine, the Austrian team dominated the game with 19 shots on target to 5 and already in the 21st minute C. Baumgartner put the Austrians ahead after a brilliant pass from D. Alaba, and no more goals were scored by either team.
Before the tournament, Austria was considered a realistic candidate to reach the play-offs, but it is clear that the Austrians have nothing to offer against potentially stronger teams. Although the Austrian team has talented and experienced players, they are far below the Italian team in terms of individual skill, so the key to be able to hold their own against the Italians and to "survive" as long as possible is good defence.
No Italian team has scored a goal in 11 consecutive matches, so no miracles should be expected from Austria either, but it is a fact that this team can put up a fight and stay in the match for a longer period of time.
Italy is playing confidently in this tournament, looking good both in attack and defence. Meanwhile, Austria has played well against the potentially weaker teams in the group, but has not shown that it can hang on against the potentially stronger Netherlands. Unfortunately, from what we can see in the tournament, Italy is potentially an even stronger team than the Netherlands, so we can expect a confident 2-0 or 3-0 victory for Italy here.