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Belgium Hoping for Repeat of '15 Friendly

Mousa Dembele Belgium Graziano Pelle Italy Euro 2016

On paper, this looks like it could be one of the best contests in the early Euro 2016 matches, but with the way Italy performed against Belgium during its last meeting, this could be an easy time for the Red Devils. The pair meet in the second Group E matchup in Lyon Monday night.

Shark Bites
  • Italy was unbeaten in qualifying with seven wins and three draws.
  • Belgium has just four wins, 13 losses and four draws all time versus Italy.
  • Italy has not won its opening game in three-straight Euro tournaments.

At online shop Bovada, Belgium is favored in moneyline markets at +150 with Italy currently +215 and the Draw at +200. In spread markets, this game is set at a Pick with Belgium -140 and Italy +115. As far as the total is concerned, both sides of the 2-goal total are presently -110.

These two met in a friendly back in November with Belgium erasing a 1-0 Italian lead with three-straight goals en route to the 3-1 triumph. Jan Vertonghen, Kevin De Bruyne and Michy Batshuayi scored after Antonio Candreva opened the scoring just three minutes in for Italy.

Italy, which won this tournament just once (1968), enters Euro 2016 with back-to-back victories in tune-up games, including a 1-0 win over Scotland and a 2-0 win over Finland. They were dealt a massive blow when it was learned that midfield lynchpin Marco Verratti would miss the entire tournament with a sports hernia injury that required surgery.

Both of these quality sides won their qualifying groups with Belgium taking Group B (23 points) and Italy coming out on top in Group H (24 points). Belgium’s backline, however, has a bit of injury concern with centerbacks Vincent Kompany and Thomas Vermaelen both doubts.