Why Italy are underdogs again for UEFA Euro 2024?

Italy might not be the top pick for Euro 2024 this coming June, yet their coach, Luciano Spalletti, is set on clinching the title with the Azzurri.

The national team, La Nazionale, wasn’t seen as the likely winner of the previous Euros, but under Roberto Mancini, they triumphed spectacularly, overcoming Austria, Belgium, Spain, and finally England in the knockout stages to secure their second ever European title.

Why Italy are underdogs again for Euro 2024?

The victory against England at Wembley, decided by penalties, sparked hopes of a new golden era. However, Italy experienced a shocking setback, missing out on World Cup qualification for the second consecutive occasion.

This stumble is a key reason why the Azzurri aren’t leading the pack for the upcoming Euros, despite holding the title. France and England are viewed as stronger contenders for the tournament in Germany. Yet, discounting Italy could be a significant oversight.

With exciting matches ahead, including encounters with Spain, Croatia, and Albania in the group stage, fans are keenly awaiting Italy’s performance. They will start their campaign against Albania in Dortmund on June 15, followed by matches against Croatia and Spain.

In a recent conversation with La Gazzetta dello Sport, Italy’s coach, Spalletti, expressed his ambition to triumph in Germany. But what makes Italy the dark horses this time?

The lingering disappointment from the World Cup under Mancini is one factor. Additionally, Italy’s attack appears less formidable. The team has struggled to find a consistent goal scorer among players like Gianluca Scamacca, Giacomo Raspadori, Ciro Immobile, and Mateo Retegui, who have shown fluctuating form throughout the 2023-24 season. Raspadori, who has started in four of Italy’s six games under Spalletti, is the likely forward for the Euros.

Spalletti, formerly of Napoli, has led the Azzurri to three victories, two draws, and a defeat in his initial six games. Despite showing promise with an offensive playstyle, the inconsistency in scoring has left bookmakers skeptical.

However, Italy boasts some of the best midfielders and a robust defense in the tournament, with talents like Nicolò Barella, Davide Frattesi, Lorenzo Pellegrini, Alessandro Bastoni, Francesco Acerbi, and the emerging Giorgio Scalvini.

Traditionally, Italy has never been the pre-tournament favorite, yet they have a history of defying odds. While many may not foresee Italy repeating their European success, Spalletti and his squad are determined to surprise the naysayers once more this summer.

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