The Euro 2020 is at its penultimate stage with Italy and Spain facing off in the semi-finals. Both sides will be eyeing their place in the finals with the winner facing one of England and Denmark. This fixture will take place in London’s iconic Wembley Stadium.
Italy has impressed the masses since day 1 and convincingly cleared the group stage. They won all 3 of their games, scoring 7 times and conceding 0 goals. They beat Turkey and Wales 3-0 each and dominated their games whilst playing beautiful football. Roberto Mancini’s side faced Belgium’s golden generation in the quarter-finals and beat them 2-1. Goals from Nicolo Barella and Lorenzo Insigne sealed their spot in the semi-finals.
Spain has had a rather surprising journey to the semi-finals after being placed in a group along with Sweden, Slovakia and Poland. They were favourites to finish atop the group but fell short with 1 win and 2 draws. They played out a thrilling 5-3 Round of 16 game against Croatia that went on to extra-time. Their quarter-finals weren’t easy either as their fixture against Switzerland reached penalties. Mikel Oyarzabal’s penalty booked their place in the semi-finals.
Date: 6th July, Tuesday
Time: 8 pm (BST)
Venue: Wembley Stadium, London
Referee: Felix Brych (Germany)
Italy Team News
Leonardo Spinazzola had a very sad end to his Euro 20 campaign as he was stretchered off against Belgium. The left-back suffered an Achilles Tendon injury as a result of a sharp turn of pace, which will come as a huge blow for the Azzurri. Chelsea’s Emerson should replace him.
Italy’s midfield of Jorginho, Marco Verratti and Nicolo Barella has been exceptional so far and will be one of their biggest strengths going into this game. They have options like Manuel Locatelli and Matteo Pessina who can come off the bench as well.
Lorenzo Insigne, Ciro Immobile and Federico Chiesa will start up-front. Domenico Berardi will be eyeing a starting spot on the right flank but will only feature off the bench.
Predicted Lineup: Gianluigi Donnarumma; Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini, Emerson Palmieri; Jorginho, Marco Verratti, Nicolo Barella; Federico Chiesa, Ciro Immobile, Lorenzo Insigne
Spain Team News
Pablo Sarabia is a doubt for this game and is unlikely to be risked. Unai Simon will start in goal as usual behind a backline of Cesar Azpilicueta, Aymeric Laporte, Pau Torres and Jordi Alba.
18-year-old Pedri has attracted a lot of praise of late and will keep his spot alongside veteran, Sergio Busquets and Koke. Gerard Moreno will love to start up-front however the misfiring Alvaro Morata should keep his spot. Ferran Torres and Dani Olmo should start on either side of him as they have impressed for most the tournament.
Predicted Lineup: Unai Simon; Cesar Azpilicueta, Aymeric Laporte, Pau Torres, Jordi Alba; Sergio Busquets, Pedri, Koke; Ferran Torres, Alvaro Morata, Dani Olmo
This should be a close contest as semi-finals usually are. The last time the 2 sides met in the Euros was in 2012 when Spain thrashed Italy 4-0 in the finals. However, the odds are stacked differently this time with Italy being the favourites. The Azzurri are tipped to win the whole tournament from here and it will be tough to stop them.
Predicted Scoreline: Italy 2-0 Spain