Euro Betting: Italy vs Spain
Euro Semi-finals | 6 July | London
Their Euros So Far
In the first semi-final of this year’s Euro tournament, Roberto Mancini’s Italy take on three-time Euro winners, Spain. It’s the Azzurri that have been the standout side out of the two so far, breezing through the group stage, winning every game, scoring seven goals and conceding none. This was then followed by a hard-fought extra-time win over Austria in the last 16, but the standout game remains their 2-1 victory over many people’s tournament favourites, Belgium.
Italy were fully deserving of the victory, a fiery first-half performance putting them two goals to the good, before Lukaku pulled one back just before half-time. For the rest of the match, players like Chelsea’s Jorginho were key in demonstrating lassic Italian game management, controlling possession and running down the clock in ‘creative ways!’ Whilst there were a few scares from Belgium, Italy were fully deserving of their win and a place in the Euro semi-finals.
It’s now 32 matches unbeaten, 13 wins in a row (albeit in extra-time against Austria) and just two goals conceded in that winning run for Mancini’s men.
For Spain, they have took the classic tournament approach of ‘growing’ into the Euros. An abject group stage performance meant they needed a victory in their final game against Slovakia. They didn’t disappoint – scoring five goals without answer following criticism about their perceived lack of cutting edge.
This seemingly sparked La Roja into life as they then beat Croatia 5-3 in the last 16, making Euro history as the only team to have ever scored five goals in two successive Euro games.
Their last game against Switzerland was less straight-forward but nonetheless successful. An exhausting match that went the distance to penalties, with Spain showing heart and courage after missing the first, to come back and win 3-1 in the shootout and advance to the semi-finals.
And now, with just one game before a potential Euro final, both squads are contending with key injuries and niggles to get over the line.
Euro Squad News
For Italy, arguably their player of the tournament, Leonardo Spinazzola will miss the rest of the Euros after suffering a ruptured achilles in the quarter-final win over Belgium. Chelsea’s Emerson is expected to step-in to replace him at left-back.
Alessandro Florenzi is also back in contention after missing the last game with a calf injury, but could struggle to displace Giovanni Di Lorenzi who has impressed in his place.
Spain could also be missing their own big Euro performer, with Pablo Sarabia a big doubt following a groin muscle tear suffered against Switzerland in the last game. Fortunately, they have excellent cover in Mikel Oyarzabal who has more than made his mark for his nation at this Euros, coming on in the last two games to score the vital fifth goal against Croatia, then the winning penalty against Switzerland in the shootout.
There have been a considerable 33 meetings between the teams, with Italy winning 9 to Spain’s 12. Meaning there has also been 12 draws. Does that mean that penalties could be on the cards here at Euro 2020?
In the last match that they faced each other, Spain won 3-0 in a 2018 World Cup qualifier. Isco scored a brace that day, and Alvaro Morata was also on the scoresheet. Could he do it again here?
There has also been an impressive Euro history between the nations; at Euro 2016, Italy were victorious in the last 16, beating Spain 2-0 with a goal from current captain, Giorgio Chiellini.
Prior to that, at Euro 2012, Spain produced a cup final masterclass by destroying the Italians 4-0 to win their third Euro title.
Then at Euro 2008, Spain won their quarter-final encounter on penalties, before going on to win the competition against Germany in the final.
So, with some serious Euro knockout history between the two, who will be victorious at Euro 2020?