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Daniel James: 'We can upset Italy at Euro 2020'

Daniel James: 'We can upset Italy at Euro 2020'
© Reuters
The Azzurri have recorded 3-0 wins over Turkey and Switzerland.

Daniel James insists Wales are capable of upsetting Italy at Euro 2020 and winning their group.

Wales are on the brink of making the last 16 of the tournament after beating Turkey 2-0 in Baku on Wednesday.

Italy, however, top Group A ahead of meeting Wales in Rome on Sunday, and have already qualified for the knockout phase after back-to-back 3-0 wins over Turkey and Switzerland.

PA Graphics

The task facing Wales is underlined by the fact Italy are on a 29-match unbeaten run and have scored 59 goals in their past 19 games, conceding just three.

"They're a great team with not a lot of weaknesses – and have had two great games," said James, part of a Manchester United side that won a Europa League tie in March when beating AC Milan at the San Siro.

"They've got players like (Giorgio) Chiellini and (Leonardo) Bonucci, legends of the game who are coming towards the end of their career but still at the top level.

"They are the type of players you look up to, but we believe we can get a result.

"We're full of confidence and we don't go into any game playing for a draw.

"We want to win every game and we fully believe we can do that. We showed that in the past Euros and in our recent form."

Wales are in fine fettle themselves having lost only once in their last 14 competitive games.

That defeat came away to Belgium, the world's top ranked team, in a World Cup qualifier in March.

Turkey v Wales – UEFA Euro 2020 – Group A – Baku Olympic Stadium
Daniel James (right) has been a major attacking weapon for Wales at Euro 2020 (PA)

"They know we have threats, I don't think they see us pushovers," James said.

"They will do their analysis and be just as ready as we are. They've got the home advantage, but I don't think that really matters.

"It was like a home game for Turkey (in Baku) with all their fans, but it was great to hear that noise again with the fans being back. It was something we've all missed as players.

"We're underdogs, we've got nothing to lose going there. We don't fear anyone and we truly believe we can go and win it."

The fleet-footed James has been timed at 33.5 kilometres per hour at Euro 2020, making him the second fastest player at the tournament so far.

Only Italy full-back Leonardo Spinazzola, at 33.8 kilometres per hour, has been quicker than the Manchester United winger and the pair could be involved in a direct mouth-watering battle at the Stadio Olimpico.

James has apologised to interim boss Robert Page for his angry reaction to being substituted against Switzerland moments after Kieffer Moore had equalised.

"I kind of saw the board late and I was just concentrating on getting the three points," explained James.

Italy Turkey Euro 2020 Soccer
Italy full-back Leonardo Spinazzola has been the only player quicker than Daniel James at Euro 2020 (Alessandra Tarantino/AP)

"We'd just scored and adrenaline was high. Maybe I shouldn't have reacted like that.

"I spoke to the manager after the game and I apologised to him.

"At the time I just wanted to play, pushing for the three points.

"We just had a laugh and joke about it. He said 'I'd much rather you come off like that than be happy to come off.'"

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Wales' Aaron Ramsey during the warm up on June 5, 2021
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States22251764
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia12211750
Great BritainGreat Britain11121235
Today's Olympic highlights header

Tuesday's key events

· Team GB duo Jack Laugher - silver medallist in Rio - and James Heatly take part in the men's 3m springboard semi-final (2am), and will hope to qualify for the final later in the day (7am)

· Two Britons are involved in the women's long jump final, but Abigail Irozuru and Jazmin Sawyers have their work cut out to get a spot on the podium (2.50am)
· Norwegian Karsten Warholm, who broke the world record just last month, goes for gold in the men's 400m hurdles final. USA's Rai Benjamin is expected to be his main challenger (4.20am)
· Great Britain have three representatives in the final of the women's 800m, with Jemma Reekie having perhaps the best chance of a medal (1.25pm)
· A mouth-watering women's 200m final sees Elaine Thompson-Herah go for the prestigious sprint double after claiming the 100m crown. Compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Namibia's Christine Mboma and USA's Gabrielle Thomas are expected to be her main competitors (1.50pm)

· The rescheduled women's skiff 49er FX (4.33am) and men's skiff 49er (5.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races
· Defending champion Giles Scott bids for a second successive gold in the Finn class medal race (6.33am)
· There is another medal chance for Team GB in the mixed Nacra 17 medal race (7.33am)

· Team GB's Joe Fraser takes part in the parallel bars final, kicking off the final day of artistic gymnastics (9am)
· USA superstar Simone Biles, who has been forced to pull out of all of her finals so far, is on the starting list for the beam final as she bids for a fifth Olympic gold (9.50am)

· The men's semi-finals take place, with Mexico taking on Brazil first up (9am)
· The winner of that first semi-final will face either hosts Japan or Spain (2pm)

· Laura Kenny will look to win a third straight Olympic team pursuit gold medal. Team GB take on United States in their heat (7.44am), with the gold medal race later that day (9.26am)
· Laura's husband and fellow Olympic legend Jason Kenny will also look to continue his huge success in the men's team sprint - an event he has won gold in at every Games since 2008. Team GB will first need to get through the men's qualifying (7.58am), with the gold medal race ending the session (9.44am)

· Pat McCormack will be looking to achieve his dream of Olympic gold when he faces Cuba's Roniel Iglesias (11.05am)

> Today's schedule in full
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