It is time to look for the international scenario now as the club season gets over and we have to turn our interests in the UEFA Nations League proceeds to its climax with two of the European heavyweights Spain and Italy having a face-off against each other in the semi finals of the tournament. Both of them will be looking for a potential place in the finals as it will take some real morality boost for both in order to enter the finals.
A clash of the titans
Spain and Italy- a battle that goes down the ages as one of the trademark clashes which has fetched some of the remarkable results over the past few years. They have been one of the forces to reckon with in the European circuit as the current EURO Champions Italy will be upbeat as they face a spirited Spanish side boasting of a plethora of young talents like Gavi, Rodri, Olmo, Pedri.
Luis De La Fuente’s side is confident of going into the finals of this tournament as he has elevated his side as one of the best in the world at this moment. Meanwhile, on the other hand, Roberto Mancini’s side has a fairly poor share of results and has been plagued by injuries as the legendary manager faces a dilemma whether to include Champions League finalists Barella, Bastoni as they will be included in the squad late.
La Roja and the Azurris will be ready to face each other in De Grolsch Veste, home of the football team Twente FC in the Dutch League.
Ahead of the intense clash against each other , Spanish coach Luis De La Fuente will be looking for a mix of experience and youth in his starting eleven, which will be beneficial for the 2010 World Cup winners to get a step ahead of their rivals. This is the second time in two years these heavyweights are meeting, with La Roja comfortably winning the last fixture in 2021, in the same position. The Spanish giants had ended a record 37-run unbeaten streak of the Azurris, but fell in the final hurdle against France and could not get achieve a silverware in Luis Enrique’s era.
An unimpressive World Cup campaign in Qatar where the former world champions barely squeezed the group stage before getting eliminated by surprise package Morocco saw a change in the helm where under-19 coach De La Fuente took over the reigns from former Barca manager Luis Enrique.
This time, La Fuente and his brigade will look to extend their record by a step further by winning the long yearning Nations League.
On the other hand, the Azurris will be eager to bounce back from a heartbreak last time they had faced La Roja. The reigning EURO champions has had a tumultuous season under Mancini after they had got hold of the silverware 2 years back. Last year, they could not feature in the World Cup as they were knocked out of North Macedonia in the playoffs, and were demolished by eventual World Cup winners Argentina in the inaugural Finalissma. After the young guns of the Italian national team were rued after Under-20 Championship loss to Uruguay, Mancini’s men will look to restore some pride in the country.
Spain vs Italy: team news
With a mouth-watering clash in the back of the mind, both teams will look to put their best foot forward and will be able to field their best eleven. For Spain, they will be without their seasoned veteran Sergio Busquets and Barca star Pedri. De La Fuente has recalled another experienced star Jordi Alba in to the team, thinking about a seasoned body in the back.
Dani Olmo might not be included in the initial eleven from the beginning as he is nursing a muscular injury. Debutant Robin Le Normand might be handed a start in the central defense after he changed his allegiance to Spain.
In case of the EURO champions, seasoned players Dominico Berardi and Monza skipper Matteo Pessina will be sidelined due to injuries, with Mancini excluding several new faces in the preliminary squad like Baschirotto. Talented youngster Wilfried Gnonto will play both in the Nations League and in European Under-21 Championship. In the frontal attack, it might be Ciro Immobile who leads the attacking battalion after he has recuperated from an injury plagued season.
Spain vs Italy: Head-to-head
Spain victories: 13
Italy victories: 10
Spain vs Italy: Predicted Line-ups
Spain: Simon; Carvajal, Le Normand, Laporte, Alba; Rodri, Zubimendi, Gavi; Asensio, Morata, Merino
Italy: Donnarumma; Di Lorenzo, Bastoni, Acerbi, Bonucci; Barella, Jorginho, Pellegrini, Veratti, Chiesa; Immobile
Spain vs Italy: Match Prediction
Italy 0-2 Spain
Spain vs Italy: Venue, Date, Time, Where to watch
Venue: De Grolsch Veste
Date: Friday 16 June
Time: 12:15 AM (Indian Standard Time)
Where to watch: ViaPlay