Here we go, everyone!
The quarter-finals have come and gone in the blink of an eye, and all attention turns towards the Euro 2020 semis! The first showdown of this footballing feast sees Italy take on Spain, and the winner will book their place in the grand final on 11 July, where they’ll face either England or Denmark.
Italy saw off a spirited second-half display from Belgium to hold onto a 2-1 victory in their quarter-final, while Spain needed penalties to sneak beyond Switzerland, having laboured to a 1-1 draw over 120 minutes.
But no matter who are the favourites heading into Tuesday’s clash, anything can happen over the course of 90 minutes in football. All we know is, it’s going to be an absolute barnstormer.
Here’s 90min’s preview of this iconic clash.
When is kick off? Tuesday 6 July 20:00 (BST)
Where is the match being played? Wembley stadium, London
What TV channel is the match on? BBC One (UK), ESPN (US)
Who’s the referee? Felix Brych, Marco Fritz (VAR)
The devastating news of Leonardo Spinazzola’s achilles injury means, not only will he miss the rest of the Euros, but he’ll be out of action for around six months. His absence will allow Chelsea star Emerson Palmieri the chance to shine at left-back.
Other than that one major disappointment, Italy’s squad is in good nick with no other absentees.
The Spain squad is at almost full strength, giving Luis Enrique no serious concerns leading up to Tuesday’s big kick off. However, Pablo Sarabia was substituted at half-time in the 1-1 draw with Switzerland, and it’s unclear whether this was a tactical switch, or if he picked up a knock.
Gerard Moreno or Dani Olmo could return to the starting lineup, should Sarabia be left out.
Italy: Donnarumma; Di Lorenzo, Bonucci, Chiellini, Emerson; Barella, Jorginho, Verratti; Chiesa, Immobile, Insigne
Spain: Simon; Azpilicueta, Laporte, P Torres, Alba; Koke, Busquets, Pedri; Moreno, Morata, F Torres
Italy have stepped up to every challenge thrown their way this summer, and the victory over Belgium was only further proof that this team can go all the way. Spain on the other hand, have somewhat limped towards the semi-finals, and they’ve been far less convincing in their success.
La Roja also needed extra-time to defeat Croatia, and penalties to overcome Switzerland, meaning they might be carrying some heavy legs for the big semi-final. That will play into Italy’s hands, and we can see Gli Azzurri’s high-intensity style breaking Spain.
There’s goals in both these sides, and we think Italy will run out as eventual winners, with both teams to score.
Prediction: Italy 3-1 Spain