Day 10 at the European Championship is upon us as Group A reaches what promises to be an exciting conclusion later this afternoon.
After successive easy wins, in-form contenders Italy require just a point against Wales in Rome to secure top spot heading into a last-16 tie that would come against the runners-up in Group C – either Ukraine or Austria.
Meanwhile, following their brilliant victory over Turkey in Baku on Wednesday, 2016 semi-finalists Wales will seal their place in the knockout stages with a draw on Sunday.
The last round of fixtures in each group take place concurrently, with Switzerland and Turkey also going head to head in Azerbaijan in a must-win game for both sides if they are to have a hope of keeping their respective campaigns alive.
We’ll also have all the latest news from the England camp as the fallout continues from Friday’s stalemate with Scotland at Wembley and attentions turn to Tuesday night’s Group D decider against the Czech Republic.
There was also no shortage of headlines after an exciting day nine that saw Germany beat Portugal in a six-goal thriller, tournament favourites France held by Hungary and Spain fail to see off Poland.
Denmark star Christian Eriksen has also now been discharged from hospital after a successful operation to fit a defibrillator implant following his cardiac arrest suffered during the match against Finland in Copenhagen.
Follow all the latest Euros news in our daily live blog below!
Bale: Wales are under no illusions ahead of Italy challenge
A point in Rome would secure Wales’ place in the last 16, but Bale insists they are under no illusions as to the scale of the task ahead.
Mancini’s rejuvenated Italy have looked fantastic on their return to major tournament football after missing the 2018 World Cup in Russia, with successive 3-0 wins over Turkey and Switzerland on home soil in Group A extending their formidable unbeaten run to 29 matches.
Indeed, they haven’t conceded a single goal while racking up 10 straight wins.
“It’s going to be a big challenge. We have no doubt, even if that record wasn’t there, Italy are a big footballing nation and always make games difficult,” Bale said.
“We’re under no illusions, it’s going to be a difficult game, but all we can do is plan, prepare and give it our all when we get on the pitch.
“It’s difficult to say where the game would rank if we won but it would for sure be a proud moment for all of us. A great result for Wales and one we’re going to try and do.”
Bale reacts to Mancini’s Stoke comparison
Azzurri boss Roberto Mancini ‘Stoked’ the flames ahead of today’s Italy vs Wales clash at the Stadio Olimpico by suggesting that the latter provide a similar tough physical test to that of the Potters during their Premier League heyday.
Responding to that claim in yesterday’s pre-match press conference, Gareth Bale quipped: “I never knew Stoke were that good.”
Meanwhile, Wales’ stand-in boss Robert Page brushed off the comparison as he focuses on securing their spot in the last 16.
“We’re fully focused on what we can do and how we can hurt teams,” he said.
“As I’ve said, I couldn’t be more proud of that (squad of) 26 and I’ll back them every day of the week.”
Day 10 schedule – Italy vs Wales, Switzerland vs Turkey
It’s day 10 at the European Championship!
We have two games on the slate for this afternoon as Group A concludes with a final pair of fixtures that take place concurrently at 5pm BST.
Italy and Wales collide in Rome, while at the same time Switzerland and Turkey go head to head in Baku.
Stay tuned for all the build-up to those games plus the very latest from the England camp as attentions turn to Tuesday night’s Group D decider against the Czech Republic at Wembley.
Spain held by Poland
Gerard Moreno missed a penalty as Spain were held by Poland in Saturday evening’s Group E clash.
Alvaro Morata gave Spain the lead after a VAR review, slotting home from close range and initially seeing his striker ruled offside. Robert Lewandowski powered home a header in the second half for a share of the spoils.
The result leaves Group E wide open, with all four teams still able to qualify as they head into Wednesday’s final round of matches.
Morata broke the deadlock in the 25th minute, pouncing to sweep home Gerard Moreno’s driven ball into the box and, though a line
Mancini dismisses Biscotto draw
Roberto Mancini has dismissed the idea that Italy and Wales could play out a so-called ‘Biscotto’ draw in Rome to suit their Euro 2020 ambitions.
Italy have already qualified for the round of 16 after winning their opening two games and would top Group A by avoiding defeat to Wales at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday.
Second-placed Wales need a point to confirm qualification for the knockout stage after drawing with Switzerland and beating Turkey in their opening two games.
It has been suggested the scenario allows the two teams to engineer the right result. In Italy this is known as ‘Biscotto’, which literally means biscuit.
It originates from the Latin for cooked twice and the idea is apparently you cannot make a biscotto on your own, hence the double element of the name.
Mancini said: “I think the term ‘Biscotto’ is used when there are two teams that have the same goal and the result would allow them to both go through.
“That’s not an issue for us because we already have six points and are already through to the last 16.
“So we either go to London or Amsterdam, it depends on the final score, and this ‘Biscotto’ chat doesn’t pertain to us.
“We will go wherever we need to in the draw. We’re not really bothered by which team we come against.
“If we go to Amsterdam because we finish runners-up so be it. If we win the group so much the better. Our target is to win the match.”
Deschamps rues wasted chances
Didier Deschamps rued missed chances by Karim Benzema and Kylian Mbappe as Euro 2020 favourites France were held to a draw by Hungary.
In front of a capacity crowd in Budapest the world champions struggled to break down a tireless Hungary defence and, when they found a way through, were not clinical with their chances.
Benzema skewed wide after being teed up well by Mbappe, who headed wide from a good chance early on.
After a number of wasted chances, Hungary’s Attila Fiola broke up the other end and stunned Les Blues with a well taken goal in added time at the end of the first half.
Antoine Greizmann levelled in the second half but the French, who will face Portugal in their final group game next week, could not find a winner.
“We should have been in front. It’s not good enough given what we expected, but that’s soccer,” Deschamps said. “They scored with their only chance. Considering the context, we’ll take the point.
“Hungary put on the match of their lives. Good for them.”
FT: Hungary 1-1 France
Hungary were so close to a famous win but Antoine Griezmann’s second-half strike salvages a point for the world champions.
HT: Hungary 1-0 France
There’s a right turn up on the cards in Budapest, where the world champions trial.
You can follow it all here.
Austria won’t settle for tactical draw against Ukraine
Austria are not considering the option of a draw in their last Euro 2020 Group C game against Ukraine on Monday, a result that may help both teams but that would only dredge up memories of their 1982 “Disgrace of Gijon”.
That World Cup game in Spain – a 1-0 win for what was then West Germany – was enough to send both Austria and their neighbours through at the expense of an entertaining Algeria.
On Monday both Ukraine, who only need a point for second place, and Austria, as one of the four best third-placed teams, could advance with a draw.
“I do not think that it comes down to that,” said Austrian Football Association president Leo Windtner. “In every respect it would be the wrong tactic to go out and play for a point.”
He said there would be no “historical repetitions.”
“The best thing would be to not even discuss it. That is history. It does not call out for repetition,” he said.
Hungary vs France (2pm) team news
Hungary XI: Gulacsi, Botka, Orban, Attila Szalai, Nego, Kleinheisler, Nagy, Schafer, Fiola, Sallai, Adam Szalai.
France XI: Lloris, Pavard, Varane, Kimpembe, Digne, Kante, Pogba, Rabiot, Griezmann, Benzema, Mbappe
You can follow all the build-up in our designated live blog here.