Italy take on Spain at Wembley on Tuesday night for the first Euro 2020 semi-final.
Both teams are unbeaten so far in the competition and are among the favourites to win it. That obviously won’t be possible for one of these nations and it’s set up to be a cracker.
Italy have been the most impressive team in the tournament so far. Roberto Mancini’s men have been devastating in their attack and typically solid defensively. It’s the perfect mix for tournament football.
It’s fair to say that Spain have limped their way through the competition to date. Their 5-0 win over Slovakia in the final group game looked impressive, but the Slovakians were very poor.
Apart from that win, the Spanish have drawn all their other games in 90 minutes at Euro 2020. An extra time win and a fortunate victory via penalties over Switzerland has got them to this point.
This Spanish team are a shadow of the side that dominated world football between 2008 and 2012. Despite that, they’ve managed to reach the semi-finals and at this stage, everyone has a chance.
The Italians overcame Belgium in the quarter-finals in impressive fashion. Two stunning strikes from Nicolo Barella and Lorenzo Insigne were enough for the win, despite Romelu Lukaku’s second half penalty.
This game is nicely poised. With the way Italy have been playing, it’s difficult to see them changing their style for this game. That could give Spain a chance on the counter in a potentially end-to-end clash.
Below, we’ll preview this Euro 2020 fixture and provide our predictions, the team news, our recommended bets and more…
Italy vs Spain Predictions
Out of the two sides, it’s Italy who have impressed most at Euro 2020. They went through the group stages having won every game, scoring seven goals and conceding none.
It wasn’t as straightforward for Spain. Luis Enrique’s men struggled in a 0-0 draw with Sweden in their opening game, before again drawing with Poland next time out.
Their 5-0 demolition of Slovakia was a much needed confidence boost for the team. They should have beaten Croatia easily in the last 16, but conceded two late goals to take it to extra time.
They got the job done in the end, but Spain’s defensive frailties have been apparent throughout this tournament. They were less than convincing against Switzerland in the quarters and were very fortunate to progress in one of the worst penalty shootouts in recent memory.
Despite being renowned for their defensive abilities, Italy have been the most impressive team in an attacking sense.
Neither nation has an out and out striker who is their main goalscorer, a usual prerequisite in major tournament winning teams. Instead, both countries have spread the goals across multiple players.
Heading into this game, both nations have three players who are sitting on two goals for the tournament. While none of them are likely to end as top goalscorer, it does show that both teams don’t have to rely on one player to get goals.
Given Spain’s defensive issues so far, it seems highly unlikely that Italy won’t score in this game. They could leave themselves exposed to the counter attack though, and that could be Spain’s best chance of winning this tie.
Read on for our Italy v Spain predictions and best bets.
Italy vs Spain Head to Head
Since 2000, these two countries have met on 13 occasions. Spain have won five of those encounters, with Italy winning just two. The remaining six games all ended in a draw.
The first three meetings were all friendly international fixtures that saw Spain win two by 2-0 and 1-0 score lines. The other game was a 1-1 draw in 2004.
They met again in the quarter-finals of the 2008 Euros. After playing out a 0-0 draw through 90 minutes and extra time, the game went to penalties. Spain progressed and eventually won the tournament.
The two nations met again at the 2012 Euros. Having been drawn in the same group, the first clash ended in a 1-1 draw.
Both sides progressed through the competition and met again in the final. This wasn’t to be as tight though, as Spain routed to a 4-0 win.
Italy got revenge four years later, eliminating Spain at the quarter-finals stage of Euro 2016. It was the first time since 2011 that Italy had beaten Spain.
The two countries were drawn together in 2018 World Cup qualifying. The first game was a 1-1 draw, with Spain winning the second game 3-0 in 2017.
That was the last time the two nations clashed and plenty has changed since then. It’s unlikely that the head to head records will give us much to go off here.
There is an apparent pattern that has emerged from their last 11 meetings though. Whenever a nation has won one, the very next game has ended as a draw. Spain won the meeting, so are we going to see a draw here?
Italy Team News – W D W W W
Italy are missing a couple of players for this huge clash. Leonardo Spinazzola has been one of Italy’s best players at Euro 2020 so far.
He suffered from a freak achilles tendon injury in the win over Belgium, and that effectively ended his tournament. It was a heartbreaking moment for the Roma player, who was stretchered off the pitch in tears.
His club teammate, Alessandro Florenzi, is also set to miss this game. The 30 year old picked up a calf injury against Turkey in the group stages and doesn’t look to have recovered yet.
Spinazzola’s absence provides a selection headache for Mancini, who will likely opt for Emerson in the left wing back position.
Jorginho has been one of Italy’s standout players at Euro 2020 and he’s expected to start at the heart of the midfield again. He will likely be flanked by Marco Verratti and Nicolo Barella.
Our Italy v Spain predictions expect Mancini to stick with the same attacking trio of Ciro Immobile, Lorenzo Insigne and Federico Chiesa.
Spain Team News – D D W D D
Spain have an almost fully fit squad for this clash. The only injury concern is Pablo Sarabia, who was brought off at half time against Switzerland last time.
There’s a small chance he’ll be fit in time for this game, but if so he is more likely to feature on the bench from the start.
Unai Simon was the hero for Spain in that penalty shootout with Switzerland. The Athletic Bilbao stopper is expected to occupy the goal again here.
Enrique is also expected to go with a 4-3-3 formation for this game. That will likely mean Alvaro Morata leads the line, with Ferran Torres and Dani Olmo either side.
Busquets will anchor the midfield and it’s likely that Koke and Pedri will start the game alongside him.
Italy vs Spain Betting Tips
Given the current form of these two teams, it’s no surprise to see Italy as favourites. Fortunately for punters, this game is getting the Super Odds treatment! Roberto Mancini’s men are priced at 6/4 to win in 90 minutes in our Italy v Spain match bets.
Spain aren’t particularly fancied on the odds. The traders have Luis Enrique’s men priced as 9/4 outsiders to win the game in normal time.
If the pattern of the head to heads between these two is to continue, this game would end in a draw. If you think it will finish all square, the odds on that are 23/10.
Italy should have too much for Spain in this clash. Given how they’ve played so far, they should be the outright favourites out of the remaining four nations.