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How Austria could line up against Italy

How Austria could line up against Italy
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Sports Mole takes an in-depth look at how Austria could line up for Saturday's Euro 2020 last-16 clash with Italy.

Finally into the knockout phase for the first time ever, last-16 outsiders Austria will meet an impressive Italy side at Wembley on Saturday.

Their starting lineup is far from settled, however, as head coach Franco Foda switched to a back four last time out, but could yet return to his previous three-man defence against challenging opposition.

Having utilised a 4-2-3-1 formation against Ukraine, which enabled versatile captain David Alaba to raid forward from left-back after previously starting in central defence, Foda must therefore decide whether to stick or twist.

Star man Alaba, who turned 29 this week, could certainly be called upon to move inside again if Martin Hinteregger fails to overcome a knock, while Eintracht Frankfurt's Stefan Ilsanker may be required to start if they do decide to switch again.

Scorer of the winning goal versus Ukraine, young Christoph Baumgartner has recovered from a head collision which caused his first-half withdrawal on Monday, so is expected to continue on the flank, though both Julian Baumgartlinger and Valentino Lazaro are still doubtful ahead of kickoff.

In the Austria attack, meanwhile, former West Ham United forward Marko Arnautovic was recalled in Bucharest after serving a one-match ban for insulting a North Macedonia player, and is set to lead the line again having impressed with his link-up play.

The controversial target man is particularly looking forward to Saturday's encounter against the Italians, after he enjoyed a spell in Milan with Inter several years ago, where he rubbed shoulders with such luminaries as Hernan Crespo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Adriano while under the management of Jose Mourinho.

Austria possible starting lineup:
Bachmann; Lainer, Dragovic, Hinteregger, Alaba; Laimer, Grillitsch, X. Schlager; Sabitzer, Baumgartner; Arnautovic

> Click here to see how Italy could line up for Saturday's last-16 clash

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Austria's Christoph Baumgartner celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates on March 28, 2021
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Monday's key events


TRIATHLON
· Jonny Brownlee will look to make the most of his brother Alistair's absence as he goes for gold in the men's triathlon (10.30pm-1am)

RUGBY SEVENS
· Team GB get their campaign underway with two matches, against Canada and Japan (from 1.30am)

SWIMMING
· One of Team GB's biggest gold medal hopes, Adam Peaty, will take part in the 100m breaststroke final. (3.12am)
· Ariarne Titmus and Katie Ledecky go head to head for gold in the women's 400m freestyle final (3.20am)

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· Tom Daley and Matty Lee take part in the men's 10m synchro final (7am-8am)

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· The men's team final takes place (11am)

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