Italy vs Spain Euro 2020 semifinal preview

Italy vs Spain Euro 2020  semifinal preview
spain vs italy, italy spain, Italy v Spain, Italy, spain italy, spain v italy

Italy vs Spain tickets: UEFA cut prices due to struggle to sell out … Tue, 06 Jul 2021 09:00:00 +0100-Unbeaten Italy, possession kings Spain meet at Wembley Stadium in London in the first semi-final.


Italy, Spain meet in blockbuster Euro 2020 semi-final

When: Tuesday, July 6
Where: Wembley Stadium, London
Kick-off: 19:00 GMT

Italy vs Spain marks a blockbuster first semi-final at Euro 2020 to take place before an expected crowd of 60,000 at Wembley with Tuesday’s game the latest episode in a burgeoning rivalry between the nations meeting in a fourth consecutive European Championship.

Spain won on penalties in the quarter-finals in Vienna in 2008 on their way to winning the trophy and then thrashed Italy 4-0 in the final in Kyiv four years later.

Italy gained a measure of revenge by winning 2-0 in the last-16 at Euro 2016 and the Azzurri appear the favourites this time as they arrive at Wembley having knocked out Belgium in the quarter-finals to stretch their unbeaten run to a remarkable 32 games.

While Italy – whose only European Championship title came in 1968 – have been the standout team at the tournament so far, Spain have overcome a difficult start to reach the semi-finals as they target a record fourth continental crown.

Italy Beat Turkey 3-0 Beat Switzerland 3-0 Beat Wales 1-0 Beat Austria 2-1 (after ET)

Beat Belgium 2-1

Spain Drew 0-0 with Sweden Drew 1-1 with Poland Beat Slovakia 5-0 Beat Croatia 5-3 (after ET)

Beat Switzerland 3-1 (penalties)

Fixture laced with history

Spain’s cycle of dominance of European football began and ended with Italy so it is fitting their hopes of a reconquest will see them face Roberto Mancini’s side, who are on their own path towards redemption.

This is a fixture laced with history, not least for coach Luis Enrique, who was left with a broken nose by opponent Mauro Tassotti which went unpunished in a 1994 World Cup quarter-final defeat and to this day sparks feelings of injustice in Spain.

Mancini has got the country falling back in love with the national team by overseeing some sparkling football and creating a real sense of unity demonstrated in the way they have celebrated every victory as if they had won a trophy.

That sense of togetherness could be seen on the pitch as they defended like gladiators in their 2-1 win over Belgium in the quarter-finals and in their raucous tribute on the flight home to defender Leonardo Spinazzola, who tore his Achilles tendon and is out of the tournament.

Spain’s path to the semi-finals has been less smooth, getting off to a croaky start with dull draws against Sweden and Poland before coming to life with a 5-0 win over Slovakia and a 5-3 win against Croatia after extra time.

Their quarter-final success over Switzerland on penalties was far less exciting but had the hallmarks of the shoot-out win over Italy 13 years ago and showcased the team spirit players and Enrique have talked up throughout the tournament.

Enrique has coped with personal tragedy and the effect of negative public opinion to rally his young squad and lead them to the semi-finals.

He incurred the wrath of many fans and large sections of the Spanish media for leaving Sergio Ramos out of his squad and picking no players from Real Madrid.

The coach turned more heads by only picking a 24-man squad instead of 26 and for encouraging French-born defender Aymeric Laporte to switch nationalities and lead the team’s defence instead of Ramos.

More incredulity followed when he kept Sergio Busquets in the squad after the midfielder tested positive for COVID-19, showing a sense of patience he did not afford Ramos, who had missed much of the last season through injury.

Radio Marca described Luis Enrique as “pigheaded”, adding Spain were “not cut out to win this Euros and we all know it”.

Coaches’ corner

Luis Enrique (Spain)

“We are leaders in ball possession [in the tournament] but they can also make use of it and enjoy the ball, that’ll be the first battle we need to conquer. 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.

“We’re not an experienced team but it doesn’t mean we don’t have experience of the game. Many of our players have played at a very high level and are used to these games. I just hope we’re up to the challenge.”

Roberto Mancini (Italy)

“We know it won’t be that easy. We know that we need to produce a big performance because Spain are a top side. We’re in the semi-finals of the European Championship. And so it’s it’s very unlikely to find easy opposition.

“If Italy and Spain have made it thus far, it means that we’ve done very well. If we’re into the semi-final, it means that we deserve to be at this stage of the competition. So I think it’s 50-50 with regards to who has the tag of favourites.”

What’s next for the winners?

The Euro 2020 final on July 11 at Wembley Stadium against either England or Denmark.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies

... read more

Euro 2020: Italy vs Spain semi-final preview Tue, 06 Jul 2021 09:00:00 +0100-On Tuesday evening Italy will take on Spain at Wembley Stadium in the first semi-final of Euro 2020.The capacity for the game is around 60000 for COVID-19…


UEFA cut Italy vs Spain ticket prices due to struggle to sell out Wembley

Long before the tournament began, price bands were announced, with tickets more expensive for games later in the tournament, and prices varying depending on location (London and Munich are more expensive than Budapest or Bucharest, for example).

For the semi-finals there are four price bands: Category 1 (€595), Category 2 (€345), Category 3 (€195) and Fans First (€85).

Fans First tickets have mostly been allocated to national associations and not put on general sale.

For most of the last fortnight, the only tickets listed for this match have been in Categories 1 and 2. However, over the last couple of days, Category 3 tickets have been consistently available to purchase, and occasionally some at Fans First prices. The Athletic spoke to one fan who bought three tickets for €85 each at 12:48pm BST on Tuesday.

Where are the different category seats?

Ahead of the tournament, UEFA released a brochure showing how the seating categories would work. It says that Category 3 – the “cheap” tickets for the semi-finals, costing €195, would be behind the goals.

However, The Athletic has spoken to several fans who have bought tickets for Tuesday’s game in recent days, and have been allocated their seats which are in Category 1 or 2 positions close to the halfway line.

“UEFA has decided to recategorise the seating plan for the semi-final between Italy and Spain due to the impossibility for travelling fans to attend the game,” a spokesperson said. “This impossibility led to ticket returns and UEFA decided to make such tickets available at cheaper prices to give the chance to as many fans as possible to attend the game.”

Why are tickets so hard to shift?

In normal times, thousands of people would be flying in from Italy and Spain to watch the match.

However, both countries are on the UK's 'Amber List' meaning incomers must quarantine for at least five days. Russia, where Spain's quarter-final was held four days ago, and Germany, where Italy beat Belgium, are also on the Amber List.

Of course, there are lots of Spanish and Italian people in the UK, but a large part of the crowd will likely be made up of London-based neutrals.

Italy manager Roberto Mancini told reporters ahead of Tuesday’s clash: “I think it’s pretty unfair if I’m perfectly honest.

“We’re better off playing in front of any crowd as opposed to playing in front of a small number of people; that’s what’s great about football and entertainment in general. But I do think it’s very unfair that we don’t have half the stadium full of Italian fans and half the stadium full of Spaniards.”

These logistical issues, combined with the extremely high prices, mean lots of tickets were still available on the day.

“Nearly 60,000 tickets had been sold for the game this morning and the remaining tickets can be purchased until kick-off through,” a UEFA spokesperson said.

What about the other matches?

England's semi-final against Denmark — and the final, which may see England captain Harry Kane lifting the trophy at Wembley — are a different story.

These games have been listed as “sold out” over the past few days.

However tickets have periodically appeared on sale again at short notice, so keep checking the official UEFA portal if you are interested.

(Photo by Nick Potts/PA Images via Getty Images)

... read more
– July 6, 2021
Italy vs Spain Euro 2020 semifinal preview
spain vs italy, italy spain, Italy v Spain, Italy, spain italy, spain v italy

Back to top button