By News Team
6th July 2021
On Tuesday evening, Wembley will have the pleasure of hosting two European giants as Italy take on Spain in the first European Championship semi-final. Both sides have not reached a final of a major competition since they faced each other in the 2012 European Championship final which saw Spain come out 4-0 winners.
Two European powerhouses, featuring some of Europe’s best players at Wembley. What’s not to like? Not much in short and here’s our preview ahead of Tuesday’s enthralling encounter.
Italy to continue to break records?
Italy and Spain have met nine times previously in European Championship and World Cups with Italy winning four of these fixtures. Tuesday evening’s game means that this will now be the most played fixture among European nations in major tournament history. Understandably, Italy head into this fixture as favourites at 7/5 and after defeating Belgium in the previous round, Roberto Mancini’s side will be full of confidence.
Italy have won all five of their matches at this year’s European Championship meaning they are now the only side of the remaining final four with an 100% record. Amazingly, if Italy defeat Spain, they will equal their previous record of six wins at a major tournament which came at Italia 1990. The Netherlands in 2010 are the only other European side in history to win all six of their opening games at a major tournament.
With six goals and seven assists, Lorenzo Insigne has been involved in 13 goals in his last 15 appearances for Italy in all competitions with his latest goal being the crucial winner against Belgium on Friday evening. The Napoli attacker is 16/5 to find the back of the net anytime, whilst Federico Chiesa, another star in the Italian side, is priced at 15/4 to score.
Penalty glory once again for Spain?
Spain’s victory over Switzerland on Saturday means that they have reached the semi-finals of the European Championships for the third time in the last four tournaments. Spain have managed to go on and win the competition on each of the last two occasions they have reached the final four in 2008 and 2012. Spain are priced at 11/5 underdogs to win in 90 minutes on Tuesday, though, while they are 11/10 to reach the final.
The Spaniards have only suffered one defeat in their last five matches at Wembley, however they lost to England on penalties at the 1996 European Championships. Spain managed to secure qualification to the semi-finals on penalties against Switzerland and if you think they will manage to conquer Italy by the same method, you can get them to do that at 10/1.
Spain’s Dani Olmo (16) and Gerard Moreno (15) have had more shots without scoring than any other player so far. Olmo is priced at 18/5 to find the back of the net on Tuesday evening with Moreno 13/5. Can either of them finally break their curse?