Young Spain side braced for Wembley clash against confident Italy
London, Jul 5 (EFE).- A youthful Spanish team with a bright future that has scraped through to the semifinals of Euro 2020 faces a hefty challenge at Wembley, against an Italian side that has undergone something of a renaissance and is on track to make it 33 games unbeaten.
Luis Enrique’s Spain has broken the mould this year with a roster of players with an average age of just 26. The team has grown, learning off the cuff on the European stage in the face of adversity, from Covid-19 to booing fans.
Spain learned from its opening two games — both disappointing draws — against Sweden and Poland: it trounced Slovakia and Croatia, scoring five goals in each (although extra time was needed against the Balkan side) and was held against Switzerland in the quarters, a game that required penalties.
And so to the temple of football, Wembley, on Tuesday evening for a semifinal clash against an Italian side that ensured safe passage through the quarters with a pulsating victory against highly fancied Belgium.
Luis Enrique hasn’t fielded the same starting lineup so far in Euro 2020, although tomorrow will be without the injured Pablo Sarabia in attack. That could force changes in midfield, too.
Roberto Mancini’s Italy are without Leonardo Spinazzola, Italy’s best player in the competition so far, after he was forced off the pitch, in tears, with an injured Achilles against Belgium.
Italia: Gianluigi Donnarumma; Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Leonardi Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini, Emerson; Nicolò Barella, Jorginho, Marco Verratti; Lorenzo Insigne, Federico Chiesa, Ciro Immobile.
SPAIN: Unai Simón; César Azpilicueta, Eric García, Amyric Laporte, Jordi Alba; Sergio Busquets; Koke, Pedri; Ferran Torres, Álvaro Morata and Dani Olmo.EFE