Italy vs Spain: Euro 2020 semi-final preview, predictions

 Italy vs Spain: Euro 2020 semi-final preview, predictions

Italy and Spain meet in a blockbuster first semi-final at Euro 2020

LONDON, 06 July: Italy and Spain meet in a blockbuster first semi-final at Euro 2020 before an expected crowd of 60,000 at Wembley with Tuesday’s game the latest episode in a burgeoning rivalry between the nations meeting in a fourth consecutive European Championship.

Spain won on penalties in the quarter-finals in Vienna in 2008 on their way to winning the trophy and then thrashed Italy 4-0 in the final in Kyiv four years later.

Italy gained a measure of revenge by winning 2-0 in the last-16 at Euro 2016 and the Azzurri appear the favourites this time as they arrive at Wembley having knocked out Belgium in the quarter-finals to stretch their unbeaten run to a remarkable 32 games.

While Italy – whose only European Championship title came in 1968 – have been the standout team at the tournament so far, Spain have overcome a difficult start to reach the semi-finals as they target a record fourth continental crown.

Coaches’ corner
Luis Enrique (Spain)

“We are leaders in ball possession [in the tournament] but they can also make use of it and enjoy the ball, that’ll be the first battle we need to conquer. They can adapt to not having the ball, they’ve done that in the tournament in certain stages but they’re more comfortable with the ball and stronger with it.

“We’re not an experienced team but it doesn’t mean we don’t have experience of the game. Many of our players have played at a very high level and are used to these games. I just hope we’re up to the challenge.”

Roberto Mancini (Italy)

“We know it won’t be that easy. We know that we need to produce a big performance because Spain are a top side. We’re in the semi-finals of the European Championship. And so it’s it’s very unlikely to find easy opposition.

“If Italy and Spain have made it thus far, it means that we’ve done very well. If we’re into the semi-final, it means that we deserve to be at this stage of the competition. So I think it’s 50-50 with regards to who has the tag of favourites.”

Web Desk

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