Italy vs Spain LIVE: Euro 2020 team news, line-ups and more tonight

Follow live coverage as Italy face Spain in the first semi-final at Euro 2020, with the two nations meeting at Wembley.

The Azzurri have perhaps been the most impressive side at the tournament so far this summer, barely setting a foot wrong as they topped their group in style following the opening night win over Turkey. After Switzerland and Wales were also beaten, they knocked out Austria in the last 16 after extra time – arguably the only less-than-stellar showing of their games so far – and beat Belgium in impressive fashion in the quarters.

Spain have had a far more up-and-down ride to the last four, drawing their first two group games against Sweden and Poland before a five-goal thrashing of Slovakia sent them through in second place. Then followed one of the most memorable matches of this edition of the European Championship, as a crazy 90 minutes against Croatia ended 3-3, with Spain scoring twice more in extra time. A penalty shoot-out against Switzerland brought them through to the semis against Italy.

Leonardo Spinazzola will be a big miss for Roberto Mancini’s side after suffering injury last time out, but otherwise both nations are likely to have full squads to choose from, though there are questions over Pablo Sarabia’s fitness. Follow the Euro 2020 semi-final between Italy and Spain here:

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Euro 2020: Italy without Spinazzola

Italian left-back Leonardo Spinazzola has been one of the best players of Euro 2020 with his driving runs and fearless nature but he is out of the tournament after suffering a ruptured Achilles tendon against Belgium last time out.

The 28-year-old Roma player has had surgery and is set to be sidelined for around six months.

He has only ever played one Champions League game and had never scored a top-flight goal this time last year. However his importance on the Azzurri in this tournament cannot be overstated.

He was a constant source of attack and played more as a forward than a defender at times.

Spinazzola created eight chances for team-mates (the fourth most of any Italian player – or of any defender at Euro 2020) and attempted 18 dribbles (eight more than any other Italian).

He put in 11 crosses (almost twice the number of any team-mate) and had seven shots (with Denmark’s Joakim Maehle the only defender to try more).

Spinazzola’s place in the Italy starting line-up is likely to go to Chelsea left-back Emerson but his absence will be keenly felt.

Euro 2020: Italy vs Spain talking points

The match kicks off is just under two hours time and whilst we wait for the official team news to drop here’s what you need to know about tonight’s match and what questions still need answering.

The main talking points are:

– Who will win the midfield battle?

– Can Italy’s defence cope against a mobile Spanish side?

– Will Spain get more from Alvaro Morata?

– Will injury put Italy in a spin?

Italy vs Spain talking points ahead of Euro 2020 semi-final

The two meet at Wembley Stadium

Euro 2020: Who are the favourites?

Italy have been sensational under Roberto Mancini and they’ve taken Euro 2020 by storm with flowing, possession-based football and clinical finishing.

With their track record in European Championship knockout games against Spain many spectators across Europe will peg them as favourites to reach the final.

Certainly, Mancini has utilised his squad to the best of his ability. His man-management skills have been sensational and people may argue that his side have been the team of the tournament so far.

But, Spain defeated them 4-0 in the Euro 2012 final and although Luis Enrique has a new-look squad those memories aren’t easily forgotten.

They’ve managed to find hold their nerve against Austria and Switzerland despite not yet finding their best form. If they turn it on and get firing in front of goal, they may just overwhelm Italy’s aging defence.

Euro 2020: Who will win the midfield battle?

This game is too close to call beforehand. Who’s going to win Italy or Spain?

Could it be simply a case of which midfield has the better night? Will Jorginho, Verratti and Barella outclass Busquets, Pedri and Koke?

The battle to control the middle of the pitch in this first semi-final of Euro 2020 is mouth-watering, and could well decide the outcome of tonight’s clash at Wembley.

Italy’s Nicolo Barella thinks so too saying:

“Busquets has been one of the best midfielders in the world for many years. Then they have Pedri and Koke… it will be a tough game, we are similar as we both want to dominate the possession. Midfield is a crucial department, we have Jorginho and Verratti, who are great champions, and I give my help with runs into open spaces.”

Spain’s Pedri echoed those sentiments and said the team who makes the least mistakes will likely come out on top:

“Both teams have a very strong midfield and a great deal of quality in that area of the pitch. It’s going to be a very hotly-contested match in midfield. The team that gets the better of it will be the team that makes the fewest mistakes.”

Euro 2020: Possession could decide semi-final thinks Spain’s Luis Enrique

Italy and Spain have both dominated the ball over the course of their respective Euro 2020 campaigns with Spain breaking a tournament record for possession in their opening match against Sweden.

They top of the table for average possession with 73.4% over five games whilst Italy are in third with 57.4%.

Indeed, Spain coach Luis Enrique believes tonight’s semi-final against Italy could hinge on who dominates possession.

“That’s one of the first questions to settle. We are leaders in ball possession but they can also make use of it and enjoy the ball, that’ll be the first battle we need to conquer,” he told a news conference on Monday.

“They can adapt to not having the ball, they’ve done that in the tournament in certain stages but they’re more comfortable with the ball and stronger with it.

“Our objective is clear, we want the ball, we need it, if we have to do something different we will adapt but we prefer to have possession of the ball.”

Italy vs Spain: Azzurri turn the tables in tactical battle

When Italy were humbled by Spain in the final of Euro 2012, they were beaten by a side who were at the peak of their powers and leading the way in terms of the development of the game.

Now, nine years later, it is Italy whose journey since then points towards football’s next revolution. The Azzurri have been spectacular throughout Euro 2020, but the building blocks of their fluid style of play were set a long time ago.

Miguel Delaney assesses Italy’s transformation.

Italy show football’s future has no formations in old rivalry with Spain

Spain’s Euro 2012 win showed a vision of the future, and greatness, but it is Italy who arrive as the more advanced football nation now

Euro 2020: Italy vs Spain

Italy and Spain will face off in a European Championship knockout game for the fourth tournament in a row as they compete for a place in the Euro 2020 final later this evening.

The last time the two sides met was in Euro 2016 with Italy winning 2-0 in the last 16.

Of the seven times the two teams have met in the Euros Spain’s only victory, in 90 minutes, came in the 2012 final which they won 4-0.

Roberto Mancini’s Italy have been one of, if not the, most impressive teams at Euro 2020. They topped Group A with free-flowing football before seeing off a tough challenge from Austria and sweeping aside the No. 1 ranked team in the world, Belgium, in the knockouts.

Luis Enrique’s Spain on the other hand have had a whirlwind ride. They were close to elimination in the group stages before crushing Slovakia 5-0 and qualifying for the knockout rounds. It took them until extra time to get past Croatia and a penalty shootout was needed for them to beat Switzerland to set up a semi-final encounter with Italy.

If Spain end up winning this semi-final expect something similar (extra time or penalties) tonight.

This match, England’s semi-final tomorrow, and the Euro 2020 final on Sunday are all being held at Wembley.

Unlike tomorrow’s fixture when 60,000 fans are expected to be in attendance it is unlikely that too many biased supporters will be in the ground tonight as anybody flying from Spain or Italy into England has to quarantine and would therefore not be able to attend.

Italy vs Spain: ‘Wembley is unparalleled'

“The mystique of Wembley is unparalleled”, according to the Spanish FA’s Twitter account, as the teams begin to arrive ahead of tonight’s semi-final.

This is, of course, the first time Wembley has hosted the semi-final of a major international tournament since Euro 96 and England’s defeat to Germany on penalties.

This time around, however, both semi-finals are being held at the stadium. In 1996, the ‘second’ semi-final of the tournament was staged at Old Trafford as the Czech Republic beat France on penalties.

Transfer news: Hakimi joins PSG from Inter

Away from Euro 2020 for a moment, and Paris Saint-Germain have just announced the signing of one of the players of the season in Italy’s Serie A.

Achraf Hakimi has completed his move to PSG from Italian champions Inter Milan, with Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma expected to follow from AC Milan following the completion of the Euros.

The Moroccan right-back arrives for a reported fee of £51.3 million.

Italy vs Spain: Could Koke by the key?

While he may be overshadowed by the authority of Sergio Busquets and the exciting talent of Pedri, Koke has been central to Spain’s run to the semi-finals of Euro 2020, writes Karl Matchett.

“That combination of bringing a far more adventurous attack-minded game to the team than he is allowed to show with Atletico, plus his trademark ‘fighting’ spirit and commitment to the team cause, makes him the ideal third man in that Spain midfield. They don’t have another real runner from deep who can also dictate the team’s on-the-ball approach and who also has the lung-capacity to do all jobs, both halves of the pitch, both halves of the game.

“This is a more enjoyable Koke. A more expansive Koke. A Koke which could-have-been, had he had other managers than Diego Simeone at club level, or had that Atleti team really evolved into a different beast. It isn’t to disparage that side’s achievements – they just won the league after all – but simply to realise that a young Koke could have been moulded into any type of midfielder according to his manager’s wishes. He has the complete package, technically and mentally.

“Now he faces his biggest test at the tournament.”

Why Koke’s central role has been crucial to Spain’s Euro 2020 progress and plans

Not the midfield arrangement many would have picked, but Spain’s central trio have remained trusted by Luis Enrique

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