Euro U21: How can the Azzurrini progress - the situation

Di Biagio Italia bene così
22 June at 09:15
Gigi Di Biagio's Italy U21 side prepare to play their last match of the group stage of the U21 European Championships this evening, as the Azzurrini take on Belgium at 21:00 local time this evening.

Despite winning an impressive comeback victory against Spain in their opening match, a strong defensive performance from Poland meant that Di Biagio's side are in serious danger of not progressing past the group stage.

In the U21 Euros, only the top team from each of the three groups progresses automatically, whilst the three second place teams are placed into their own mini-group to work out the final team in the semi-finals.

As it stands, Italy are on 3 points from 2 games, with Poland topping the group with 6 points and Spain also on 3 points like Italy. It is not over just yet for the side though, with it still possible that the team qualify for the next round.

If Spain defeat Poland and Italy defeat Belgium, providing Spain don't win by more than one more goal than Italy this evening, Di Biagio's side will top the group. However, anything less than a win for Italy against Belgium will rule the side out of finishing top of the group.

If Italy do finish second in their group, it will all rely on the results elsewhere. Denmark and Austria both sit on three points after two games in Group B and, therefore, could qualify as the best-placed second-placed side if they better the result of Italy. However, the real danger lies in Group C. If Italy do not top their group, even if they manage to finish the stage on six points and in 2nd place, a draw between France and Romania in the final match of the group stage will see both those sides on 7 points and, therefore, regardless of who comes first or second, it will be mathematically impossible for both sides not to qualify.

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