Italy impressed in their victory over Belgium
Italy and Spain meet in the first Euro 2020 semi-final in what promises to be one of the most attractive games of the tournament.
It means the nations have played in four consecutive editions of the European Championship, with one draw and one victory apiece in the last three meetings.
Italy have been one of the most impressive teams in the tournament and are hoping to win the Euros for the first time since 1968.
A Spain triumph would be their third since 2008.
- Ruthless England run riot in Rome to reach Euro 2020 semi-finals
When is Spain vs Italy?
The game is on Tuesday July 6.
What time is kick off?
The match gets under way at 8pm BST.
What TV channel is it on?
The final schedule is still being finalised but it will be on either BBC One or ITV1. Alternatively, you can bookmark this page and return on the night to follow the action on our dedicated live blog.
Latest Spain and Italy team news
Italy will be without left-back and key attacking outlet Leonardo Spinazzola who suffered a serious injury against Belgium and left the field in tears on a stretcher. Giorgio Chiellini returned from injury against Belgium and will continue alongside Leonardo Bonucci at the back. Italy have no suspension concerns. Lorenzo Pellegrini and Stefano Sensi were ruled out before the start of the tournament.
Spain’s only long-term injury absentee is Ansu Fati. They will need to cover from two periods of extra time in the knockout stages, though.
Italy will be without Leonardo Spinazzola
What have they done at the Euros so far?
Spain have had more possession than any team in the competition and the second-most shots, but have sometimes struggled to convert this dominance into goals. They drew against Sweden and Poland in the group stage, but their fortunes changed in front of goal by scoring five against Slovakia and then Croatia in the last-16. Spain have surrendered leads in both of their knockout games so there is a lingering defensive fragility.
Italy’s highly technical, possession-hungry style has been compared to the great Spain teams of the past with their midfield three of Jorginho, Marco Verratti and Nicolo Barella their strongest department. They have one of the best managers in the tournament in Roberto Mancini, and have won all but one match in 90 minutes, having more shots than any team. They were outstanding against Belgium.
🇪🇸 Spain have now scored 11 goals in their last 3 #EURO2020 games 🔥
More to come? pic.twitter.com/qKkrYJx5uL
— UEFA EURO 2020 (@EURO2020) July 2, 2021
Is there history between the teams?
Antonio Conte’s Italy got the better of Spain in their last tournament meeting at Euro 2016, to partially avenge Spain’s 4-0 thrashing of Italy in the 2012 final. Beating Italy on penalties at the quarter-final stage, with Cesc Fabregas scoring the winning spot kick, was a crucial moment on the way to Spain ending their tournament hoodoo in 2008. Roberto Baggio scored a late winner when Italy knocked Spain out of the 1994 World Cup.
Spain beat Italy 4-0 in the Euro 2012 final
What are our writers saying?
James Ducker looks at how Mancini is looking to make up for his ‘wasted’ years as a player at international level:
His own volatility and intransigence, the presence of Roberto Baggio, Italy’s entrenched conservative approach and emphasis on the collective over the individual and perhaps, too, Mancini’s “outsider” status all had their part to play in marginalising a figure who was used to getting his own way.
Sam Dean looks at whether Spain striker Alvaro Morata can turn things around after a rocky start:
Everything about his CV, and his list of accomplishments by the age of 28, therefore suggests that Morata must be one of the continent’s elite forwards. And yet, for many people, the former Chelsea striker still seems to be regarded more as a punchline – or indeed a punchbag – than as a top-level predator.
Roberto Mancini has won the sartorial prize at Euro 2020
Credit: Getty Images
What are the odds?
- Italy 6/4
- Spain 2/1
- Draw 11/5
What is our prediction?
Spain are a difficult team to assess: their statistics are impressive but it is hard to shake the impression there is an underlying brittleness there. Ferran Torres operating on the right could cause Italy problems, especially without Spinazzola at left-back.
Italy will almost be playing Spain at their own game, trying to press high and dominate possession, and we fancy them to have too much intensity for their opponents.
Verdict: Spain 1 Italy 2