Italy vs Spain UEFA EURO 2020 preview

Publish Date : 2021-07-06


Italy vs Spain UEFA EURO 2020 preview

Italy vs Spain UEFA EURO 2020 preview: where to watch, TV channels and live streams, team news, form guide
Tuesday 6 July 2021

Italy face Spain in the UEFA EURO 2020 semi-finals – all you need to know.


Italy take on Spain in the UEFA EURO 2020 semi-finals in London on Tuesday 6 July at 21:00 CET.

What's the story?
In their absolute tiki-taka pomp, Spain swept Italy aside 4-0 in the final of UEFA EURO 2012, but the balance of power has shifted a little since. Italy eliminated La Roja with a 2-0 win in the 2016 round of 16 and come to Wembley having won each of their last 13 international matches, while also being unbeaten in 32 (W27 D5). Their dizzying pace and killer finishing proved too much for a talented Belgium team last time out.

Italy vs Spain: who will reach the final? ?
Italy
Spain
Luis Enrique's Spain have been enigmatic to say the least; after group stage draws against Sweden and Poland, they beat Slovakia 5-0 to reach the last 16, where they scored five again, though it took extra time to finish off Croatia. A string of missed chances then allowed ten-man Switzerland to take them to penalties in the quarter-finals, but top-class opponents like Italy may yet bring out the best in them.

EURO 2012 final highlights: Spain 4-0 Italy
Where to watch: TV channels and live streams
Find your local UEFA EURO 2020 broadcast partner(s) here.

Predicted line-ups
Italy: Donnarumma; Di Lorenzo, Bonucci, Chiellini, Emerson; Barella, Jorginho, Verratti; Chiesa, Immobile, Insigne
Out: Spinazzola (achilles)

Spain: Unai Simón; Azpilicueta, Eric García, Laporte, Jordi Alba; Koke/Llorente, Busquets, Pedri; Ferran Torres, Morata, Olmo
Out: Sarabia (groin)

Reporters' views
Spain vs Italy: The full EURO 2008 shoot-out
Paolo Menicucci, Italy reporter: The sky is the limit for the Azzurri after a wonderful performance against Belgium. Italy had broken several national records at this EURO, but doubts lingered about the conclusions to be drawn given the standard of their opposition. Were the Azzurri ready for the number one team in the FIFA rankings? The win and the performance in Munich eliminated all doubts. Roberto Mancini's men are up for any kind of battle.

Graham Hunter, Spain reporter: Spain don't have hidden depths; they are what you see. On form: vivacious, exciting. Off form: a little naive and prone to fluffing chances. They feast on teams sluggish in thought and deed, but Italy are no such thing. And although Luis Enrique objects to being pulled up on playing two left-footed centre-backs, the stats bear out that Spain concede more when that key combination is not Eric García and Aymeric Laporte. La Roja may not be favourites, but expect entertainment.

View from the camps
EURO 1988: Vialli winner for Italy against Spain
Roberto Mancini, Italy coach: "It will be difficult, even if Spain are different from Belgium. It will not be the same kind of game compared to the previous one, but it will present many difficulties for sure. Spain have been extraordinary for years, even if now there has been a change and they are a younger side. They have a good coach and very good players."

Luis Enrique, Spain coach: "I don't think both of us can dominate, so it'll be interesting to see who wins this tussle. Apart from having top players, Italy are a real team. They attack and defend as a unit, which is really similar to what we do. They also employ a high press, which it would be hard to imagine an Italian side from the past doing. Now they're strong in several ways of playing, meaning that the game will be really interesting. Both teams will have their moments.”

Leonardo Bonucci, Italy defender: "Spain have been criticised but Luis Enrique was right to shield their team and unite the group even more. They are very united in their starting XI and the entire squad. When you meet such a mentally strong team, the game is always difficult. But if we show the Italy of the last 30 games, we can certainly achieve the result we want."

Pedri, Spain midfielder: "Both teams have a very strong midfield and a great deal of quality in that area of the pitch. It’s going to be a very hotly-contested match in midfield. The team that gets the better of it will be the team that makes the fewest mistakes.”

Italy vs Spain rivalry: six great meetings
Tuesday 6 July 2021 by Richard Martin

As two teams with impressive European Championship pedigree prepare to clash in the UEFA EURO 2020 semi-finals, we look back at their most memorable encounters.

Gianluigi Buffon and Iker Casillas embrace after the UEFA EURO 2012 final
Gianluigi Buffon and Iker Casillas embrace after the UEFA EURO 2012 final
Getty Images
Italy and Spain will renew one of football's great rivalries in London on Tuesday evening.

The teams have met ten times at major tournaments, with Italy having enjoyed the upper hand until Spain beat them on penalties on their way to winning EURO 2008, before dishing out a footballing masterclass in the Kyiv final four years later.

1934 World Cup quarter-finals: Italy 1-1 Spain (aet); Italy 1-0 Spain (replay) 
Their first clash at a major tournament was a gruelling affair. Luis Regueiro and Giovanni Ferrari exchanged goals in Florence and the game remained 1-1 after extra time, which meant a replay the following day. Spain were forced to make seven changes and Giuseppe Meazza soon put the hosts ahead, with Spain then having two goals ruled out as they were eliminated.

EURO '88 group stage: Italy 1-0 Spain
EURO 1988: Vialli winner for Italy against Spain
A tactical battle supreme in Frankfurt, where a 19-year-old Italy defender played a starring role: enter Paolo Maldini. The AC Milan youngster marked Spain's vaunted winger Míchel out of the game, paving the way for the only goal midway through the second half.

That came after Carlo Ancelotti threaded a pass towards Alessandro Altobelli, whose dummy allowed Gianluca Vialli to strike low beyond Andoni Zubizarreta.

1994 World Cup quarter-finals: Italy 2-1 Spain
A simmering rivalry well and truly reached boiling point in Boston. Dino Baggio's long-range strike gave Italy the lead, but the real action came after the break. An elbow from Mauro Tassotti caught Luis Enrique in the face – an incident bad enough to earn him an eight-match ban, but unseen on the day.

José Luis Caminero did make it 1-1, but two minutes from time, after a sensational end-to-end move, Roberto Baggio rounded Zubizarreta to fire in the winner.



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