clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Euro 2021 Group A Preview: Italy favored to win the group, but battle for second knockout spot will be tight

The Azzuri are heavily favored in the Group A to advance. Who could join them in the knockout stages of Euro 2021?

The Italy starting eleven Lorenzo Insigne, Leonardo Bonucci, Ciro Immobile, Marco Verratti, Alesssandro Florenzi, Lorenzo Pellegrini, Emerson Palmieri, Domenico Berardi, Manuel Locatelli, Gianluigi Donnarumma and Giorgio Chiellini sing the national anthem prior to kick off in the FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar qualifying match between Italy and Northern Ireland at Stadio Ennio Tardini on March 25, 2021 in Parma, Italy. Photo by Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images

When the Euro 2020 groups were first released, many were quick to anoint Group F as the “Group of Death”. A group featuring defending champions Portugal, runners-up France, Germany and Hungary certainly earns this title, but Group A is no pushover. Italy may be the heavy favorite according to DraftKings Sportsbook, but each team will be in the mix for a knockout spot. Let’s take a look at the group in more detail.

Turkey

Turkey allowed just three goals in 10 qualifying matches, giving them a strong chance to advance behind their defense. The team also went 1-0-1 against qualifying group toppers France, showing Turkey has the ability to hang with top-class squads. Caglar Soyuncu, Hakan Calhanoglu and Cengiz Under will be key members of this team. Turkey offers tremendous value for bettors at +130 to advance to the knockout stage.

Key Players: Caglar Soyuncu (Leicster City), Cengiz Under (Leicester City), Hakan Calhanoglu (AC Milan), Ugurcan Cakir (Trabzonspor), Burak Yilmaz (Lille)

Italy

The favorites to win the group, Italy hit 37 goals while allowing just four to cruise to the top of their qualifying group. The squad has veteran experience with Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini on the back line, but the real strength is its variety of attacking players with Ciro Immobile, Lorenzo Pellegrini, Andrea Belotti and Marco Verrati. This group is head and shoulders above the rest of the group on paper, but anything can happen on the pitch. The Azurri are -186 to win the group and -835 to make the knockout stage, which doesn’t provide much of an opportunity for prospective bettors.

Key Players: Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Marco Verratti (Paris Saint-Germain), Andrea Belotti (Torino), Ciro Immobile (Lazio), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli), Lorenzo Pellegrini (Roma)

Wales

Wales is clearly at the bottom of the group in terms of overall talent, but the presence of Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey and Ben Davies will give soccer fans a reason to tune in. Bale isn’t what he used to be, but is still capable of changing the game himself. Wales isn’t going to merit a lot of betting action, but this team should be fun to watch.

Key Players: Gareth Bale (Real Madrid), Aaron Ramsey (Juventus), Ben Davies (Tottenham), Wayne Hennessey (Crystal Palace), Kieffer Moore (Cardiff City),

Switzerland

Switzerland plays an interesting brand of soccer. It’s almost like they aren’t trying to bother anyone. They don’t score a lot of goals, but they don’t give up a lot of goals either. They had a relatively weak qualifying group, which should worry prospective bettors backing them to advance out of Group A. Switzerland are listed ahead of Turkey to advance likely due to superior talent on paper, but the results say otherwise. Yann Sommer, Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri will be players to watch for this team.

Key Players: Xherdan Shaqiri (Liverpool), Granit Xhaka (Arsenal), Yann Sommer (Borussia Monchengladbach), Nico Elvedi (Borussia Monchengladbach), Manuel Akanji (Borussia Dortmund), Denis Zakaria (Borussia Monchengladbach)

Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook

Euro 2021 Group A Odds

Team To win To win (Jun 15) To win (Jun 19) Top 2 Top 2 (June 15) Top 2 (Jun 19)
Team To win To win (Jun 15) To win (Jun 19) Top 2 Top 2 (June 15) Top 2 (Jun 19)
Italy -186 -770 -1430 -835 OTB OTB
Wales +1200 +1900 +700 +230 +215 -1667
Switzerland +475 +950 OTB +110 +110 +650
Turkey +540 +4500 OTB +130 +215 OTB

Group A Schedule

  • Friday June 11, 3:00 p.m. Turkey vs Italy (Stadio Olimpico, Rome)
  • Saturday June 12, 9:00 a.m.: Wales vs Switzerland (Olympic Stadium, Baku)
  • Wednesday June 16, 12:00 p.m. Turkey vs Wales (Olympic Stadium, Baku)
  • Wednesday June 16, 3:00 p.m. Italy vs Switzerland (Stadio Olimpico, Rome)
  • Sunday June 20, 12:00 p.m. Italy vs Wales (Stadio Olimpico, Rome)
  • Sunday June 20, 12:00 p.m. Switzerland vs Turkey (Olympic Stadium, Baku)

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL). Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ/WV/PA/MI), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN), 1-800-522-4700 (NH/CO), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA), 1-888-532-3500 (VA) or call/text TN REDLINE 1-800-889-9789 (TN). 21+ (18+ NH). CO/IL/IN/IA/NH/NJ/PA/TN/VA/WV/MI only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for full terms and conditions.