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Italy face three tough group stage opponents in France this summer - but make it through with flying colours and they'll quickly become one of the favourites for the trophy.

They've got themselves off to a fantastic start too with a 2-0 success over the much-fancied Belgium. Antonio Conte's men were professional and clinical to begin their campaign with three points.


Italy have been drawn in Group E, along with Sweden, Belgium and the Republic of Ireland.


Full fixture dates and kick-off times for all Group E Matches.

See all italy Matches

top 3 Italy Bets

Italy to finish 2nd in Group E (21/10 with Boylesports)

This could be one of the toughest groups to call a winner for but with Belgium having overcome Italy in a recent friendly, we think they have the mental capacity to go on and win this group and we also think they have the strongest squad in Group E, too.

After Belgium, you do have to fancy the Azzurri to overcome Sweden and Republic of Ireland sides who are both handy on their day, but who both lack quality in some key positions and required play-off victories to secure qualification to the finals.

Belgium winner, Italy runner up (10/3 Sky Bet)

With our first bet in mind, Belgium to win the group and Italy to finish second at 10/3 makes plenty of appeal. 

Stephan El Sharaawy to be Italy's top goalscorer (12/1 bet365)

There's no real true attacking stars in this Italy squad. Whilst the likes of Ciro Immobile and Lorenzo Insigne have obvious quality, it says a lot that the only player in the squad to manage five international goals so far in his career is defensive midfielder Daniele De Rossi, who has played over 100 times in the famous blue shirt.

That means it's time for one of the young attacking stars to step up and make a name for themselves and Stephan El Sharaawy, who scored his side's only goal in the recent friendly loss to Germany, is one player who has the quality to become his nation's hero this summer. 12/1 is far too big a price for him to end the tournament as his nation's top scorer.

Italy Squad

Italy have named a 30-man provisional squad for Euro 2016, with big names such as Andrea Pirlo and Mario Balotelli missing from the list.

Here's the full squad that Antonio Conte has gone for, with seven players to be cut by the end of May. 

Key PLayers

Italy appear to have a nice mix of youth and experience in their squad, but there's no doubt that the experience of some of their players, particularly midfielders Riccardo Montolivo and Daniele De Rossi will be key not only on the pitch, but on the atmosphere in the dressing room and in training. 

Continuing with theme of experience, team captain and record appearance holder Gianluigi Buffon will also be of serious importance between the sticks for the Azzurri. Further forward is where Italy perhaps lack some quality - although the likes of Stephan El Sharaawy and Lorenzo Insigne will be keen to impress.

How Italy qualified for euro 2016

Italy were in magnificent form in their qualifying campaign, not losing any of their ten matches as they topped Group H with a degree of ease. That being said, most Azzurri supporters will have expected their side to breeze through qualifying as they were handed a relatively straightforward group.

After kicking off with three wins, some worries may have crept in as Antonio Conte's side drew three games on the bounce, home and away to Croatia and away to Bulgaria, but those worries were eased as the side breezed through to four wins in their final four games to finish top of the group.

Of course this will be be Antonio Conte's only chance to impress as Italy manager as he is all set to take the Chelsea job following the tournament - but recent friendly results perhaps indicate that he's struggling to get the best out of his team as they've failed to win in four matches since securing qualification.

The winners of Italy's Group D will face the runners-up of Group D in the last 16, while the runners-up are set to come up against the winners of Group F which comprises of Portugal, Iceland, Austria and Hungary.

history in the tournament

Italy are one of just nine nations to get their hands on the famous trophy it's in history. The Azzurri won the third edition of the competition back in 1968, beating Yugoslavia in a replay and have since managed to reach the final twice, being beaten on both occasions. 

One of those occasions was the last tournament four years ago in Poland and the Ukraine. Few pundits and fans expected Italy to pull up any trees in that tournament but they managed to get to the final before going down 4-0 to Spain in Kiev - could they go so far again this time?

Prior to that, Italy had reached the finals stage of every tournament since 1992 and they did reach another final in that time. In 2000, the Azzurri were defeated in Extra Time by then-World Champions France thanks to goals from Sylvain Wiltord and David Trezeguet.

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