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June 26 at 8:00 am – 5:00 pm EDT
Italy and Austria meet at Wembley on Saturday night in the second of the last-16 fixtures at Euro 2020.
Italy looking to end 53 years of (Euros) heart
This year feels like a golden opportunity for Italy to win their first Euros since 1968. Since then, they have failed to qualify four times (in 1972, 1976, 1984 and 1992), been eliminated at the semi-finals twice (in 1980 and 1988) and been losing finalists twice, most recently in 2012, when they were humbled 4-0 by a Spain side that won their third consecutive major tournament in the process.
Can this year finally see the Azzurri end their heartbreak?
Italy’s most recent chance of winning their second Euros came in 2012 – but they lost to Spain
Roberto Mancini’s team have been seriously impressive so far, cruising through Group A with a perfect record and not a single goal conceded.
Austria finished second to Holland in Group C having won two of their three matches.
Follow Sportsmail’s Alex Bowmer for live Euro 2020 coverage of Italyvs Austria, including build-up, team news and scoreline.
Italy was arguably the most impressive team in the Euro 2020 group stage, but now the Azzurri will be put to the test in the knockout stage.
Italy was, however, given a palatable first opponent, facing Austria at Wembley Stadium in London on Saturday. Italy, which hasn’t lost to Austria since 1960 (10-0-3), enters on a national-record-tying 30-match unbeaten streak, and it has won its last 11 matches, all via clean sheet.
The winner of their last-16 matchup will face a daunting task in the quarterfinals, with either world No. 1-ranked Belgium or defending European champion Portugal set to be the opponent.
Italy went unscathed through its group, which featured matches against Turkey, Switzerland and Wales—all in Rome at the Stadio Olimpico. Italy scored three times in each of its first two games, something it had never done before in the Euros, getting two goals apiece from Manuel Locatelli and Ciro Immobile. It was the first team to secure a ticket to the knockout stage.
Austria had a bit of a tougher time in the group phase but still went through after beating Ukraine in its finale on Christoph Baumgartner’s goal. Austria otherwise beat North Macedonia—in a match marred by a controversy over offensive statements made by Marko Arnautovic, who was suspended for a game—and lost to the Netherlands. This is its first time reaching the knockout stage at the Euros, and in order for it to reach a first quarterfinal, it’ll take its best performance yet in the competition