STAR PREVIEW Weds: Italy v Spain
The first of the Nations League semi-finals kick off with EURO 2020 champions Italy taking on Luis Enrique’s Spain at the famous San Siro stadium.
Italy are heading into this one searching to extend their remarkable unbeaten run to its 38th match with their last defeat coming against Portugal over three years ago.
They’ll of course still be in a buoyant mood after defeating England in the final of the delayed 2020 European Championships just under three months ago. After going behind to an early Luke Shaw strike, Roberto Mancini’s men showed their resilience to fight back and defeat the Three Lions in a penalty shoot-out.
In the Nations League, Italy topped their group with three wins and three draws from their six matches against Netherlands, Poland and Bosnia and Herzegovina. It would be quite the achievement to reach their second final of the year, but the Italians look difficult to stop at the moment.
Italy v Spain
UEFA Nations League Semi-Final
19:45 Sky Sports Football / Sky Sports Ultra HD
(Maximum 10 matches)
JUL 2021 EURO 2020 SEMI-FINAL Italy (p) 1-1 Spain
SEP 2017 FIFA WORLD CUP Spain 3-0 Italy
OCT 2016 FIFA WORLD CUP FIFA WORLD CUP Italy 1-1 Spain
JUN 2016 UEFA EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP Italy 2-0 Spain
MAR 2016 INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY Italy 1-1 Spain
MAR 2014 INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY Spain 1-0 Italy
JUN 2013 FIFA CONFEDERATIONS CUP Spain (p) 0-0 Italy
JUL 2012 EURO 2012 FINAL Spain 4-0 Italy
JUN 2012 UEFA EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP Spain 1-1 Italy
AUG 2011 INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY Italy 2-1 Spain
Spain will be in pursuit of revenge after Italy ended their hopes of European Championship glory in July when Mancini’s side knocked the Spaniards out at the semi-final stage at Wembley.
Enrique’s men pegged Italy back after going behind in the 60th minute from a Federico Chiesa strike when much-maligned striker Alvaro Morato silenced the critics and bagged the equaliser ten minutes from the end of normal time.
After a tense extra-time period, the match went to a penalty shoot-out but it was Italy who kept their nerve, progressed to the final and became the eventual winners of EURO 2020.
In the Nations League, Spain managed to top their group despite a mixed bag of results which included 1-0 defeat to Ukraine and a frustrating 1-1 draw against Switzerland.
Italy have already beaten Spain in one semi-final this year and we’re backing them to do it again here. Their defence is notoriously difficult to breach and that’s why Italy to win to nil looks like the play here. For extra value, a 1-0 Italy win also looks appealing.
PROFIT/LOSS (OCTOBER 2021): LOSS -6.58 points
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