European Championships 2020
Tuesday 6th July 2021
Kick off at 8pm BST
Venue: Wembley Stadium
Two heavyweights of the international scene will play the first semi-final of Euro 2020 as Italy will take on Spain. These two nations have won the European Championships 4 times between them, with Spain taking three of those. Indeed Spain will be trying to keep the ‘Iberian Peninsula’ record up, which is that only Portugal and Spain have won the Euro’s going back to 2008.
Italy have been a breath of fresh air and alongside how normally they are in the defensive area they have surprised somewhat at being so attacking, and the players are really responding to their coach Roberto Mancini. Aside from the petty time wasting which isn’t just directed at the Italians, they really have been superb. This was proved in their quarter final showdown with FIFA’s number 1 ranked team in the world Belgium, and Italy raced into a 2 goal lead before seeing out the game 2-1. It was quite a statement win and the Italians will be confident ahead of this fixture.
Spain have either been very effective or quite lacklustre and despite making it to the last 4 this team still feels a shadow of the national side who won two European Championships in a row (2008, 2012) and won a World Cup in between. Spain were forced to go to penalties against Switzerland as that match ended 1-1 though Spain had taken the lead. The Swiss were resilient and it was only the pot luck of penalties that saw Spain through, and they missed two penalties themselves. Spain will still be a dangerous side of course but the bookmakers are siding with an Italian victory.
Italy: It’s all been about the terrible injury to play maker Leonardo Spinazzola and it has been rumoured that he will miss the first few months of the up coming Serie A season also. Alessandro Florenzi has overcome his injury and could be back in the starting line up once again.
Spain: The Spanish have no injury worries the questions will simply be, does coach Luis Enrique change things up against quality opposition?
Italy vs Spain Head to Head:
The last time the sides played was in qualifying for the World Cup in 2017 and Spain won 3-0.
Italy have only beaten Spain once in the last 8 meetings although that victory was knocking Spain out of Euro 2016.
There is a 60% chance to see under 2.5 goals.
Match up: Games: 33, Italy wins: 9, Spain wins: 12, Draws: 12
Italy vs Spain Prediction:
Historically these are two very equal sides but Italy have had the knack of getting the important wins over the Spanish. That stopped briefly when Spain dominated the game a decade ago but one could believe that the old guard have returned.
Based purely on what we have witnessed so far Spain have struggled to score in goals, true they did score 10 goals in two games here against Slovakia and Croatia but either side of that they have looked a team with few ideas. It is difficult to think of Spain scoring more than one goal against this well organised Italian defence and Spain also have the threat of the Italians attacking too.
Leonardo Spinazzola will be missed for Italy but there are other options, Nicola Barella has looked exceptional in midfield and Marco Verratti is growing with confidence all the time. This does look like one of the strongest Italian teams we have seen for some time, certainly since they won the World Cup in 2006, and they have already faced a real test by an attacking side in Belgium, however this game could be about styles. It's possible the favourite's (Italy) attacking style could suit Spain who are used to having to try and break down defences sat back deep, therefore we'll take a risk and back Spain in this game.
Italy vs Spain Betting Tips:
Draw no bet (Spain) at 2.10
Goal line (Over 2) at 1.75