Italy (ITA) and Spain (ESP) lock horns with each other for a place in the final of Euro 2020. Both teams have remained unbeaten and scored more than ten goals in the tournament so far. Italy clinched a narrow win over Belgium, and Spain needed penalties to beat Switzerland in the respective quarter-final fixtures. The three-time champions have lost only once in their last eight meetings with Italy in all competitions.
Leonardo Spinazzola faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines after rupturing his Achilles tendon during the victory over Belgium. The left-back has played a pivotal role in Italy’s impressive run in the tournament, registering two assists from four appearances. Emerson Palmieri, who played 90 minutes against Wales in the group stage, is expected to replace Spinazzola. Yet another impressive outing from Marco Verratti and Nicolo Barella could force Roberto Mancini, Italy head coach, to leave Manuel Locatelli on the bench. Meanwhile, centre-back pair Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci will be keen to repeat their second-half performance from the quarter-final clash.
Spain head coach Luis Enrique will be relying on his attacking unit to pip Italy at Wembley Stadium. Pablo Sarabia, who has two goals and as many assists, is a doubt for the semi-finals. He was taken off at half-time against Switzerland with a muscle strain. However, Enrique has plenty of quality attacking players – Dani Olmo, Gerard Moreno, Ferran Torres, etc., – at his disposal. Alvaro Morata scored against Italy in the last meeting between both sides. The backline has their task cut out against a clinical Italian front three. Eric Garcia could return to the playing eleven in place of Pau Torres.
Played: 36 ITA won: 11 ESP won: 12 Drawn: 13
Top Five Fantasy Points scorers (Quarter-finals)
ITA: N Barella (17.5 pts), L Insigne (13.5 pts), M Verratti (11 pts), G Di Lorenzo (5.5 pts), Jorginho (5.5 pts)
ESP: P Torres (9 pts), A Laporte (7 pts), J Alba (7 pts), P Gonzalez Lopez (7 pts), S Busquets Burgos (6.5 pts)
Euro 2020 Stats
Top Goalscorer: ITA – L Insigne, C Immobile, M Pessina, M Locatelli (2 goals); ESP – A Morata, P Sarabia, F Torres (2 goals)
Most Assists: ITA – M Verratti, D Berardi, L Spinazzola (2 assists); ESP – D Olmo, P Sarabia, J Alba, G Moreno, P Torres (2 assists)
Most Passes Completed: ITA – Jorginho (371 passes); ESP – A Laporte (519 passes)
Most Successful Tackles: ITA – M Verratti (5 tackles); ESP – A Laporte (4 tackles)
Shots Saved: ITA – G Donnarumma (6 saves); ESP – U Simon (6 saves)
ITA: L Spinazzola (injured)
ESP: P Sarabia (doubtful)
ITA (possible): G Donnarumma; G Di Lorenzo, L Bonucci, G Chiellini, Emerson; N Barella, Jorginho, M Verratti; F Chiesa, C Immobile, L Insigne
ESP (possible): U Simon; C Azpilicueta, E Garcia, A Laporte, J Alba; Koke, S Busquets Burgos, P Gonzalez Lopez; G Moreno, A Morata, D Olmo
Parameswaran Sankaranarayan is a sports enthusiast who has worked in print, website, and other digital platforms. He was part of the editorial team of first-ever Indian football-based website - IndianFootball.com (now defunct) - and passionately follows the latest happenings in world football. During his time as a journalist, he had the opportunity to interact with some of the iconic personalities in Indian sports and witness some memorable moments in Indian football.
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