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Record-Holders Italy Slight Favorites Against Confident Spain

Italy and Spain will play for a spot in the Euro 2020 Final on Tuesday.

Two of the best teams in the world will face each other for a spot in the final of Euro 2020 as Spain and Italy clash in a delectable semifinal at Wembley Stadium in London on Tuesday evening. Italy (15-0-0, 12-1-2 ATS) will begin as very slight favorites to advance against a powerful Spain (10-5-0, 5-10 ATS) unit. 

Italy vs Spain
  • Date/Time: July 6, 3 p.m. ET
  • Stadium: Wembley Stadium, London
  • Opening Odds: Italy +138, Draw +220, Spain +210
  • Italy vs Spain Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

The odds have hardly moved at all since opening. That is a fair reflection that both these teams are so settled that only injuries or unavailability will impact the odds in this moneyline market. Italy started with odds of +138, now lengthening ever so slightly to +151. The draw, which began at odds of +220, has moved to +226. Spain, slightly surprising underdogs, began with odds of +210 to beat Italy and those odds have also lengthened a bit to +216. 

Italy News & Notes

The Italians have come through to the semifinals the hard way. They beat Austria in extra time 2-1, a match that ended goalless after 90 minutes, before beating Belgium by the same scoreline but in normal time. Both those matches presented differing challenges, and Italy persevered and overcame them both with aplomb. 

From a personnel standpoint, the team has been hit hard by the absence of Leonardo Spinazzola. He needed to be stretchered off after damaging his Achilles tendon and will undergo surgery. He is expected to miss four to six months of soccer. In his place, Roberto Mancini is expected to bring in Emerson Palmieri. Federico Chiesa was brought in to the starting XI in the previous match, and could keep his place following a resolute performance. 

“We scored two and we could have scored more. I think the victory is fully deserved,” Mancini said. “Spain are next but the more you go forward, the most difficult it becomes. Tonight, however, we just want to think about our performance and our victory. I don’t think we suffered too much in any moment of the game. To beat a team like Belgium, you need a great performance by everybody and this is exactly what happened today.” 

How exactly will Italy set up for this match? That will be the key point to watch because they have been excellent on the offensive end but have occasionally been caught vulnerable on the counterattack. The Italians have now won 15 consecutive matches in the European Championship, including qualifying, which is a new record for the national tournament, beating Germany and Belgium’s run of 14 straight matches without a draw or a loss. That success has been led by a discernible modus operandi of moving the ball quickly and effectively across the phases. In this main tournament, Italy are the only team to have taken over 100 attempts on goal. 

Spain News & Notes

The Spaniards have already shown they can overcome adversity. They were on the verge of elimination following an early penalty miss by Sergio Busquets but Spain came storming back into that match through Unai Simon’s penalty saves. Eventually, Spain beat Switzerland in a topsy-turvy shootout to confirm their qualification into the semis of Euro 2020. 

That match came after a 5-3 win against Croatia in extra time. It is fair to say that Spain have not had it easy at this year’s tournament even though they have scored the most goals (12), kept the most possession (over 67 percent) and have been easily the most successful passing team at this competition.

Despite all these metrics that indicate success, Spain still start as slight underdogs to advance against a resurgent Italian team. If anything, Spain will be more confident of qualifying considering they have overcome some tougher matches while Italy are yet to be holistically challenged. 

“We faced Switzerland knowing their level and their capacity,” Spain manager Luis Enrique said. “The opponents didn’t press us as high as they might have. The game went into a dangerous phase at 1-0, and they were building good breaks. But from the red card, the game changed around completely – we dominated, were dangerous and created chances. They say penalties are a lottery, but that’s completely false.” 

Spain will not change their style of play. Their setup is in a methodical and concerted manner, ensuring the ball is not given away needlessly or that they don’t press too high when they are dispossessed. This style has been evident through this year’s competition, which will continue against Italy. It will be a battle between the higher press of Italy against the composed movement of Spain in London on Tuesday. 

Betting Pick 1: Draw +226

This has been the rule of thumb through this tournament, even though many such predictions have been very wrong. But with a larger sample size of data, it will eventually work. When two teams as strong as these two face each other in the semifinals of a major international tournament, it will not be won or lost easily. In such situations, when it’s close to impossible to pick a result with a higher degree of certainty, the draw is always the best choice because there is a decent chance that both teams will cancel each other out. The draw is the unlikeliest result at the start of the match, which is additionally compelling because of the higher payout. 

Betting Pick 2: Spain To Qualify (+105)

There is a lot of respect for Italy across the board, particularly under the masterful tutelage of Roberto Mancini, but Spain are no pushovers. From a personnel perspective, the Italians have the deeper squad and plenty of firepower on the bench. However, the Spaniards have been through a lot more adversity at this tournament, starting from the two draws to open the competition. If there is another tough situation, you would expect Spain to have just that much more confidence to deal with it. 

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Shark Bites
  • Spain have a 10-5-0 recent record.
  • Italy have a 12-3 recent OVER/UNDER record.
  • Italy have a 12-1-2 ATS record.