Italy will be looking to book a berth in the knockout stages of Euro 2016 when they take on Sweden in their second Group E game in Toulouse on Friday.
You can watch Italy vs. Sweden live online through a number of streaming links provided right here.
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The Italians will be in a confident mood after brushing off a relentless Belgium 2-0 in their first game at the Euros. Having started that game as the underdogs against a star-studded Belgian side, manager Antonio Conte’s men produced a defensive masterclass, which, coupled with their fantastic counterattacking skills, was enough to secure a comfortable win for the Azzurris.
Emanuele Giaccherini opened the scoring for Italy in that game, with Southampton forward Graziano Pelle adding gloss to the proceedings with a clinical finish at the end of a sweeping move. The celebrations at the end of that game, which saw captain Gianluigi Buffon run the length of the pitch to celebrate with his team-mates, has been seen as a testament to the character of the Italian team, which, although lacking star talent, still appears good enough to progress further in the tournament.
In fact, some former football players were so impressed with the defensive masterclass exemplified by Italy in that game that they pipped the Azzurris to lift the Euro 2016 trophy at the end of the tournament.
Speaking at the pre-match conference, Buffon attributed the quality of Italy’s performance to the team’s awareness of its own limitations.
“We know our limits and this helps us avoid errors. We have to win tomorrow, they won’t give us anything,” he said before the game against Sweden.
— Italy (@azzurri) June 16, 2016
Manager Antonio Conte, who is set to take over the reins at Chelsea after the conclusion of Euro 2016, agreed with his captain, saying that his players will have to achieve something “extraordinary” in every game if they want to go far in the tournament.
“I think I’ve got a very intelligent group of players at my disposal. All of whom are aware we’ve achieved something significant, because we’ve put ourselves in a good position to go through the group stage,” Conte told UEFA.com.
“They know we have to work and give 100 percent, because if we’re simply content to produce the ordinary, that’s not good enough. We have to do something extraordinary to make people proud of us.”
Manchester United’s Matteo Darmian is likely suffering from an injury, according to Sky Sports, and may not start the game against Sweden. But goalscorer Pelle is expected to start for Italy after having missed training on Tuesday with a superficial foot injury.
The Italians have met Sweden twice before in the European championships, having won the first of those encounters in 2000. Moreover, the Azzurris are unbeaten in their last four games against Sweden, so Conte would be hopeful that his team can put in another solid performance on Friday.
You can watch Italy vs. Sweden at Euro 2016 live online through a number of streaming links provided at the end of this article.
Sweden managed to get a goal back to avoid defeat in their opening game against Republic of Ireland, but coach Erik Hamren knows that the Italians would provide a much sterner test for his players in Toulouse.
Swedish fans will be banking on star player Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is on course to become the first player to score in four consecutive Euros ahead of Portugal talisman Cristiano Ronaldo, to provide enough attacking threat to beat the Azzurris.
But manager Hamren warned his team not to underestimate the threat posed by the Italians even without star names.
“Italy perhaps don’t have the big stars they used to, but they are still very strong. They are very good in defense and in attack and they were impressive against Belgium. They are going to be a tough challenge for us, but we’re looking forward to it. Anything is possible in football.”
Mikael Lustig is a concern for Sweden after picking up a groin injury, which might force Hamren to deploy 21-year-old centre-back Victor Nilsson Lindelof in the right-back position, something Italian manager Conte might be tempted to exploit.
Everybody else in the Sweden squad is fit and available for the game against Italy.
Soccer fans in the United States can catch all the action live on ESPN (ESPN2, ESPN3 USA, ESPN Deportes TV), while fans hoping to catch the game live online can watch it by clicking on Watch ESPN.
If you live in the United Kingdom, you can catch the Italy vs. Sweden game live on ITV 1 and online on ITV Hub.
Fans in South East Asia, including India, can tune into Sony SIX to watch the game live on television, while the live streaming link for the Italy vs. Sweden game can be found on Sonyliv. French fans can watch the game on TF1 and Bein Sports 1, with the live streaming option being available on Bein Sports Connect.
For a full list of the channels telecasting Euros 2016 around the world and their complementing live streaming links, click here.
If you do not want to pay subscription fees, alternate links to watch the match can be found by going to BrefSport.
[Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images]