The 2020 edition of the European Championship is near the finishing line with only three matches left to play. Continent heavyweights Spain and Italy will face each other for a spot in the final as Wembley takes over the hosting mantel.
The three-time champions had to overcome the valiant Swiss side on penalties to make it to the final four. Their possession style of play has worked for them and against them as well in this tournament so far.
For Spain, it has been the youth that have emerged as the saviours. Pedri and Ferran Torres have been a breath of fresh air for the team that has netted 12 goals in the tournament.
Boasting a rich heritage in football, the Spanish side have been far from their best in recent global ventures. They were eliminated in the Round of 16 in the 2016 Euros as well as the 2018 World Cup, so this semi-final emerges to be their most significant match since their Euro 2012 Final triumph.
The playing eleven for Spain seems very clear with Luis Enrique ideally not expected to make any changes for the marquee clash. However, with Pablo Sarabia being doubtful for the encounter, the PSG winger is likely to be replaced by Dani Olmo.
The defence will face their hardest test and will have to be on alert for a positive result. Fatigue will be an important factor as well since both of Spain’s knockout matches have been stretched to extra time.
The Azzurri’s fairytale run right from the qualifiers has yielded yet another chapter. With the wounds of their 2012 Euro Finals defeat to Spain relatively healing after they returned the defeat to Spain in the next edition, the two sides prepare to etch the fourth consecutive chapter in their Euro folklore.
Roberto Mancini welcomed stalwart Giorgio Chiellini into the side during their quarter-final fixture against Belgium, but lose Leonardo Spinazzola in the process. The Roma ace, who was having a prolific tournament suffered an injury to his Achilles that is slated to keep him out for the rest of the year.
Italy will have to work harder off the ball to thwart their opposition’s possession style of play. The midfield trio of Jorginho, Marco Verratti and Barella need to be on their toes to win back possession for the team in the middle of the park.
Waging Odds: Spain (3.20) vs Italy (2.40)
Italy are favourites and are priced at 2.40, meaning if you bet ₹100 on them and if they win the match, you’ll be making ₹240.
Spain are priced at 3.20 and are the underdogs. Betting ₹100 on them will earn you ₹320 if they come out as winners.
A cagey affair is in the making as two of the most upheld football philosophies take the field. However, given Italy’s balance and quality, they are expected to make it to the finals following a 2-0 win.