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Spain vs Italy: team news, preview and predictions


Tuesday night we host the biggest match of the European Championship so far as Spain and Italy go head to head in the first semi-final at Wembley.

There is no doubt that these two are continental giants – they have four European titles in between – but only one of them can penetrate to tackle England or Denmark in Sunday’s final.

Italy consistently excelled throughout the tournament and excelled as Belgium were sent off in the quarter-finals.

Meanwhile, Spain are growing in the competition, and successive victories over Slovakia and Croatia have come in handy, even though they were less convincing as Switzerland were chased away with penalties in the quarter-finals.

Luis Enrique Spain

Spain vs Italy: spannuus

Leonardo Spinazzola suffered a devastating injury against Belgium, and he now has to undergo the surgery of Achilles; he will be happy to return to action within six months.

His departure from the camp led to an emotional farewell, leaving Roberto Mancini a solution to the influential wing back.

Emerson Palmieri may be the man to replace him, though it’s a switch that will surely weaken Italy’s threat from the outside.

In the good news column, Alessandro Florenzi is back in action after a calving problem, but will he be able to unseat Giovanni Di Lorenzo and regain his place of defense?

Further on the field, Mancini has a large number of attacking options, such as the trio of Matteo Pessino, Manuel Locatelli and Federico Chiesa who want to push for the starting spot.

Marco Verratti is back from injury and will be a valuable comeback, while Andrea Belotti and Ciro Immobile will compete for the starting flyhalf.

For Spain, Pablo Sarabia is set to miss out after suffering an early injury against Switzerland – Dani Olmo is likely to replace him – while Aymeric Laporte is undoubtedly.

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Giorgio Chiellini Italy Romelu Lukaku Belgium Euro 2020

Spain vs Italy: key facts and statistics

Despite Italy’s long unbeaten streak of 32 games, they recently had a poor record against Spain, and that’s something Mancini needs to change on Tuesday.

Italy have won just two matches against La Roja in their last 14 matches in all competitions – a friendly triumph a decade ago and, perhaps critically, their last meeting in the Euros.

In 2016, the two heavyweights met in the round of 16, with Giorgio Chiellini and Graziano Pelle sending Italy into the quarter-finals.

At major tournaments, however, it was the Azzurri who prevailed – with four wins and four draws in nine previous events – although their defeat in the quarter-finals in 2008 and the last defeat against La Roja four years later, was a hard-hitting loss.

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Mancini Italy Austria Euro

Spain vs Italy: predictions

Although they needed extra time to defeat Austria in the round of 16, Italy have so far won all five matches at this tournament and they will win the Dutch record of six matches at a major tournament if they defeat Spain.

It’s a terrifying record, and their 2-1 victory over Belgium proved they can do the job against the toughest opponents in the tournament, win a classic against the Red Devils and keep their nerves to a late attack to survive.

This puts them in a strong position to advance to the final, but do not be surprised if they need extra time or penalties to advance to Wembley’s showpiece.

Prediction: Spain 1-1 Italy (Italy wins penalties)

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