Switzerland and Italy will lock horns for the 61st time on Sunday. Italy boast a far superior head-to-head record with 29 wins to Switzerland’s seven, while 24 games have been drawn.

Italy are undefeated in this fixture in 11 matches dating back to 1993, which is Switzerland’s only victory since 1982.

However, five of the last six duels have been draws, including both 2022 World Cup qualifiers. The Swiss side would go on to win the group while Italy infamously failed to make it to Qatar after they flopped in the play-offs. However, Italy comprehensively beat Switzerland 3-0 at Euro 2020 en-route to winning the trophy: could history repeat itself three years later? Switzerland head into the knockout stages on the back of a very respectable return of five Group A points. They even came seconds away from beating hosts Germany and claiming top spot, however, in the end they had to settle for second.

After all, this Swiss side are difficult to beat, having only been defeated once in their last 17 games stretching back 18 months. Carving out wins has proved to be a thorn in the side though, with nine of their last 14 matches ending all even, including two games so far at Euro 2024.

Italy were underwhelming in the group stages. They scrapped past Albania, were outclassed by Spain, and then required a 98th-minute equaliser against Croatia to secure second spot. Keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma made a string of fine saves against Luka Modric and co, and he will likely be called upon again in Berlin, while substitute hero Mattia Zaccagni could be in-line for a start.

Three of Italy’s four knockout stage matches went past the 90 minute mark at Euro 2020; the Azzurri overcame Austria in extra-time, then held their nerve to beat both Spain and England on penalties. I wouldn’t be shocked if something similar happened on Saturday against a tough-to-beat Swiss outfit with a penchant for draws. A draw at 90 minutes certainly appeals at 21/10, with a 1-1 scoreline priced at 5/1.

Italy have only lost once to Switzerland in their last 11 matches and beat them in the group stages of Euro 2020. They have an uncanny knack of producing results at major tournaments and have reached the quarter-finals in each of their last four Euros. Yet, while Italy have gone backwards since then they lifted the trophy three years ago, Switzerland look a lot stronger.

Prediction: Switzerland 2-1 Italy

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