Wales or Ireland could be Euro 2016's Leicester City - Vialli

After Leicester City's shock Premier League title win, the former Chelsea boss is convinced that an underdog can claim victory at this summer's tournament

Gianluca Vialli believes that an underdog will emerge as a shock winner of Euro 2016.

Vialli was involved for Italy at Euro 1988 and 1992 - in which Netherlands and Denmark both won their first ever major international titles - and after Leicester City 's Premier League triumph last season he believes an unlikely winner, such as Wales, could go all the way.

"I believe that this will be the year of the underdogs," Vialli told Goal . "I wouldn’t be surprised to see a smaller team competing and if not winning it, getting to the final.

"I am thinking about Albania, I am thinking about Wales, even Ireland or Austria - an unexpected team might go unusually far."

Leicester City were 5000-1 to win the Premier League when the season kicked off but ended the year as champions - their first ever. Greece were also unexpected winners of Euro 2004 and the former Chelsea boss is convinced that there will be a new winner this time round.

And while Villa recognises that Belgium could be that team, he has questioned their defence without the injured Vincent Kompany .

"I think Belgium will be our [Italy's] main threat, even though I think they are very good going forward. I don’t think they are particularly reliable at defending, especially now Kompany has been ruled out for the Euros. 

"I think we [Italy] have a chance, I think we will be able to compete with every side and make ourselves proud. I believe that the favourites are obviously Germany and France. I think France being the hosts and also having a great side. The manager is a very astute tactician," he added.

Italy will be led by Vialli's former Juventus team-mate Antonio Conte who will then follow in his former captain's footsteps by managing Chelsea after his Euro 2016 campaign. But, before he heads to the Premier League, Vialli believes Conte can lead his nation to a respectable position in the tournament as a result of their resolute backline.


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"I think we have a very good manager which is always a very good start. I think we have a very united group of players. I think that we on paper, we don’t look like a great side but I think that from the waist down we have probably the best team in the Euros. 

"We have got Buffon and three formidable defenders and we will defend as a team so I am sure we will concede very few goals but it is from the waist up that I think we have got problems."

Italy are without Marco Veratti and Claudio Marchisio and have faced some criticism over their striking options ahead of their opening game versus Belgium on June 13 in Lyon