As we stand, the so called weakest Italy squad ever are already through to the knockout phase as group winners after two victories have given them the maximum of 6 points, three goals and none conceded. Talk is cheap, performance on the pitch usurps everything and that is what the Italians have focused on. Belgium’s win over the Republic of Ireland was emphatic in the end, but a crucial non-penalty decision just before the Red Devils opener was the bit of fortunate they needed and boy did they take advantage and now have 3 points. The Irish prop up the other teams on goal difference with their 1 point along with Sweden but some may say that’s a bonus for the Scandinavian side as they have not had a shot on target in the competition thus far.
Italy will no doubt make a lot of changes for their final group match against the ‘Green Army’ which will give Ireland hope and they will be trying to invoke the spirit of 1994 and their World Cup victory over the Italians as only a win will do for Martin O’Neill’s men, and as we stand that will qualify them for the knockout stage so what an incentive against a team that has nothing really to play for at this stage. Belgium have stepped up and looked much better against Ireland but Sweden may be a different proposition as long as they can get their shooting boots on. They were unlucky to lose so late on to Italy and with Zlatan Ibrahimovic yet to really light up this tournament, maybe this will be his time. I think two potential shock results are on the cards to end a cagey but dramatic group phase. Predictions below.
Italy 0 Republic of Ireland 1
Sweden 2 Belgium 1
There will be daily predictions on Euro 2016 as well as comment when I get the opportunity throughout the tournament- enjoy – let me know your thoughts.
You can also tweet me:- Tweet to @biggishmouth
Go to my facebook page at:- www.facebook.com/thebiggishmouth
or click on this link to pick up:- ALL my latest and historical blogs
You can subscribe for free at www.biggishmouthblog.com – with an email address and then every time I post a blog you will get it instantaneously.