Italy and Spain battle it out for a spot in the final on Tuesday, and while the Azzurri are looking unstoppable having eliminated firm favourites Belgium, Spain might have to ride their luck again.
European Championship 2020
Venue: Wembley Stadium
Since making light work of Turkey in the tournament’s opener, Italy have not looked back. Most will argue they are playing like the best team in Europe at the moment, and their victory over Belgium emphasized it.
The game against the Belgians was an all out, back and forth affair in the initial 30 minutes but once the Italians took the lead thanks to Nicolo Barella, they never surrendered control of the game and even went on to double their lead 12 minutes later through Lorenzo Insigne.
Now that Roberto Mancini’s side have their sights set on reaching a first competition final since 2012, they will need to improve when facing the Spanish, as the record of just one win inside 90 minutes in their last eight H2H (D4, L3) does not read well on them.
Spain were pushed all the way to extra time for the second game running last time out versus Switzerland, and even needed penalties to progress to this stage.
Luis Enrique’s side created an incredible number of chances but failed to convert any of them even after Switzerland went down to 10 men around the 77th-minute mark. The match finished one apiece and the it was an Unai Simon masterclass in the resulting shoot-out that spared La Roja’s blushes.
However, they will be hoping an extra hour of the game’s rough and tumble nature do not catch up with them, and should their well-documented inability to convert their chances rear its head again at Wembley, they could finally come unstuck against a well drilled side like Italy.
Leandro Spinazzola suffered an injury to his Achilles’ tendon against Belgium that would now keep him out from the rest of the competition.
Lorenzo Pellegrini will also miss this one, while Alessandro Florenzi will face a late fitness test.
Luis Enrique took off Pablo Sarabia at half-time against Switzerland but it remains unclear if that was a precaution or due to injury.
Italy’s last five games: WWWWW
Spain’s last five games: DDWWD
Italy’s 32 match unbeaten streak is the third longest in international football history only behind the 35 games set by Spain in 2010 and Brazil in 1996.
This will be Spain’s fifth appearance in the European Championship semifinals putting them in fourth place for most appearances.
Italy and Spain have faced off four times in the previous three editions of the European Championship. The head to head is even with both sides winning one each & two draws. Although one of the draws resulted in a shootout victory for the Spaniards.
Italy are on a 13-match winning streak. They are also on a 32 match unbeaten run which stretches back all the way to 2018, and this stretch included another 11 game winning streak. They have also scored at least two goals in 12 of their past 13 fixtures.
On the other hand, Enrique’s men have failed to record wins in 90 minutes in eight of their previous 12 games, and also their forwards have not yet shown good form at the Euro till now. So we like to back the Italians to secure a win this Tuesday, and book a ticket to the final at odds of 29/20.
Odds subject to change – 18+|BeGambleAware.org – Please gamble responsibly