Euro 2020 Group A picks, predictions and betting preview: Italy poised to prove their worth
The first two matches at this summer’s European Championship soccer tournament, Euro 2020, feature the four teams in Group A — Italy, Switzerland, Turkey, and Wales.
Let’s look at each team to assess their chances of reaching the knockout stages, but don’t forget to check out our Euro 2020 outright winner betting preview, which includes a pick at +8000!
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Italy can make the most of home advantage
Italy last won the tournament in 1968 but there is cause for optimism in the Azzurri camp. The Italians have been in a state of transition since failing to even reach the World Cup finals tournament three years ago and under Roberto Mancini they managed to win all ten of their qualifying games for Euro 2020.
Blessed with a talented crop of midfielders from Jorginho and Marco Verratti to Nicolo Barella and Manuel Locatelli, they will be looking to make the most of home advantage in the group. They play all three of their group matches in Rome.
Swiss could squeeze out 2016 semi-finalists to take second
Switzerland left it until the final matchday to qualify for these finals, but under experienced master tactician Vladimir Petkovic, they will be no pushovers at Euro 2020.
They have qualified for four of the last five editions of the competition and although Xherdan Shaqiri remains their key creative spark, their plethora of options at center-back means they could be a tough team to break down.
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Young Turkish side need to find some consistency
Turkey’s best performance at a European Championship remains their run to the semi-finals in 2008 but plenty has changed since then and it remains to be seen how their young group will perform this time around.
Lille duo Yuzuf Yazici and Burak Yilmaz arrive fresh from winning the Ligue 1 title in France while Hakan Calhanoglu is a tricky player on the ball, but consistency continues to evade this group.
Don’t forget to check out our picks for which player wins the Golden Boot at Euro 2020!
Wales aiming to repeat heroics of five years ago
Interim head coach Rob Page will lead Wales into their second European Championship finals after the Dragons were the stars of the show in their first one five years ago, making a surprise appearance in the semi-finals.
Star forward Gareth Bale, fresh from a strong season on loan in the EPL with Tottenham, is one of a number of players who were involved in 2016 but their attack is now supplemented by wingers Harry Wilson and Dan James, while EFL marksman Kieffer Moore is an important target man.
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Euro 2020 Group A verdict
It is hard to see past Italy winning this section and they look solid favorites. Switzerland may be able to follow them home in second place. Wales has quality in the final third but the off-field switch from Ryan Giggs to Rob Page will not have helped their preparations, while Turkey’s hopes hinge on a handful of individuals who could be fatigued after hectic club campaigns. Switzerland has the next deepest squad after Italy and the experience to progress as group runners-up.