|Italy will take on Spain in the first semifinal of the ongoing European championship, where will the pendulum swing?|
Italy and Spain meet again at the Euros and the final of the
2012 edition that saw injuries and suspension ruin the scripts of the Italians
can be effectively banished with the Azzurris looking like the better side on
paper this time around.
How did they get here? Italy bossed their group A that had Switzerland, Turkey and Wales, and then labored past Austria after extra time in the quarter finals; Italy beat Belgium with a fantastic gritty showing in the semifinals and will have everyone fresh for the semifinal.
It hasn’t been pretty for La Roja, they struggled in their group that had Sweden, Poland and Slovakia, finishing second behind Sweden and then survived a late resurgence of the Croats to beat them 5-3 after extra time. Same was the case against Switzerland, besting the Swiss on penalties at the semis.
Spain are yet to really impress, they might have outscored everyone else, but their defensive fragility and complicated approach continue to allow opponents back into games as evident in their last two games.
Italy are more assured but there’s not so much flair in their team, Federico Chiesa doesn’t start and the use of double pivot of Jorginho and Marco Verratti means their width will be the source of assists; there’s a fine shout for Manuel Locatelli, he has been the brightest light in their squad so far.
The 4-0 final result in 2012 is something the Italians will love to banish with a win here, it’s easy for anyone to hand the trophy to whoever wins this duel, no disrespect to either of England and Denmark.
On paper, and on the account of what we’ve seen of the two so far, Italy will be anyone’s pick to advance and should everything pan out as expected, Luis Henrique and his journey men will have to wait another edition to try again.
Spain will revert back to a 4-3-3 formation with Aymeric Laporte partnering Eric Garcia, Azpilicueta is expected at the right with Jordi Alba on the left; the midfield will be rejigged as usual but Pedri and Koke should keep their place and the stubbornness of the manager means Alvaro Morata will return upfront.
Italy will keep same shape, Georgio Chiellini is still out injured but Verratti should be fine, Ciro Immobile and Lorenzo Insigne are the men to be wary of upfront, it will be a clash to relish.