A repeat of the 2012 final pits two of the tournament’s best attacks against each other
By James Benge 24 mins ago2 min read
The first finalist of UEFA Euro 2020 will be decided on Tuesday. Wembley Stadium will play host to a repeat of the final from nine years ago as Italy face Spain in a clash between two of the most dangerous attacks at the tournament so far.
Spain, with 12 goals, and Italy, with 11, are the two leading scorers left standing in the competition but both were pushed close in quarterfinal wins over Switzerland and Belgium, the former requiring a penalty shootout win to reach the semifinals of a tournament they have won a record three teams. The Azzurri have not won the European Championships since 1968 but despite that history they will be favorites to reach the final on Tuesday night. Here’s how to watch and all you need to know about the game:
- Date: Tuesday, July 6 | Time: 3 p.m. ET
- Location: Wembley Stadium — London, United Kingdom
- TV: ESPN | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
- Odds: Italy +150; Draw +210; Spain +210 (via William Hill sportsbook)
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Italy: The loss of Leonardo Spinazzola to a ruptured left Achilles will pose a sizeable headache to Roberto Mancini. Much of Italy’s attacking thrust has come down the left flank he has patrolled with Lorenzo Insigne, Spinazzola’s ability to drift inwards on his right foot has offered all sorts of problems to defenses and the full back ranks in the top 20 at the tournament for shot creating actions per 90 minutes.
Chelsea’s Emerson Palmieri is certainly a workable replacement who impressed in the win against Wales but he is more of a natural left back. Whether Mancini will feel he needs to adjust his side’s tactical approach to cope without Spinazzola remains to be seen.
Spain: Nobody at Euro 2020 should doubt that Spain can create chances for themselves in great numbers. They have the highest expected goals (xG, a metric that assesses the likelihood of any shot resulting in a goal) return at the tournament by some distance and have found the net more frequently than anyone else. And yet there are games where all those opportunities go spurned. Is that just the result of miraculous goalkeeping of the like Yann Sommer offered?
There are those who would argue that Spain’s forwards lack a killer instinct. They might have a point. Alvaro Morata and Gerard Moreno have missed penalties in normal time with the latter in particular missing a host of excellent chances through this tournament. Over time he would move back towards his scoring average but when pitted against Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci and Gianluigi Donnarumma such profligacy could be punished.
Italy have been the best performing team at the tournament so far and have the defense to limit Spain’s shots. They should make it to the final. Pick: Italy 2 Spain 1