‘Underdogs’ Austria hoping for exploit against Italy


London (AFP) – Austria coach Franco Foda said Friday that despite being “underdogs” his side were hopeful of making history with a win against Italy in their Euro 2020 last 16 clash at Wembley.

Austria advanced from the opening round at a major tournament for the first time since the 1982 World Cup, reaching the knockout phase of the European Championship for the first time.

“We know we’re the underdog and it’s difficult to judge our realistic chances but even with 10 percent you can achieve a lot,” Foda told a press conference in London.

Austria advanced second in Group C after a 1-0 win over Ukraine, bouncing back from losing 2-0 to the Netherlands.

Italy led the way in Group A with three wins, seven goals scored and none conceded.

“This team has already achieved something spectacular but now we’re focused on taking the next step to make it to Munich,” continued Foda.

“We have a lot of confidence after the match against Ukraine.”

For Foda “the Italian squad has convinced the most” in this tournament.

“Even in the third match they looked strong despite making a lot of changes. They are a dangerous squad,” he said.

“Even after a good game, you always think about what you can improve in the team. 

“Italy is very different (from Ukraine), but you can assume that I will not change much. Technically maybe we’ll tweak a little bit here and there on and off the ball.”

Italy have won all four of their previous meetings against Austria at major tournaments.

“We’ve already wrote history to make it into the round of 16 and would be beyond happy if we could beat Italy.”

Captain David Alaba said he felt “a very positive connection” to Wembley, where he won the 2013 Champions League with Bayern Munich.

“For me personally it’s a special match, but not only for me, for the whole team and I think for the whole nation as well.

“I can remember back in 2013, there was a special evening and the day before was also very special. 

“It was the Champions League final so the atmosphere within the city you could feel that a great event was coming up, tomorrow is going to be similar for us. 

“It’s a special match for us, in a very special stadium.”

“I don’t have any worries about our lads, the atmosphere and team spirit is great and we’re looking forward to this great clash tomorrow night and for every one of us it’s a dream come true, playing a round of 16 against Italy at the Euro,” he added.

“It would be a great step to make it into the quarter-finals in Munich. It would be a dream come true but we are not thinking about it at the moment at all. ”

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