The splendour of knockout-stage football has already begun, and will continue for the next few days as we see Italy take on Spain in a repeat of the 2016, 2012 and 2008 Euro knockout stages. These two have a rich history of top quality games, and hopefully the semi-final in Wembley on July 6th will be no exception.
Both of these teams have a successful history in international football, with Spain looking to reach a 5th European Championship Finals, perhaps even securing a record 4th title. Their opponents, Italy, will themselves be vying to end their 53 year Euros trophy drought. Read below to find out our Euro 2020 predictions, as well as which bets you should make!
The current Italian team has become somewhat of a favourite for most people, with good reason. Since the shock failure to qualify for the World Cup in 2018, Roberto Mancini has worked tirelessly to great a fantastic squad, which is marked as a team that is stronger as a sum of its parts rather than individual talent. This has resulted in a 32 game unbeaten run and 13 game winning streak, the former being a new record for the Azzurri. Their stereotypically brilliant defence is the secret to their incredible run of form.
Spain have become somewhat of a surprise package of Euro 2020, which is strange to say, given their historical success in the tournament. Moreso, they have become a very entertaining team to watch, having scored 5 goals on two occasions in the tournament, with their round of 16 5-3 win against Croatia being a highlight of the knockout stage. That said, it hasn’t been rosy for Spain. Having failed to top their group, they needed extra time in both knockout games, even penalties against a ten-man Swiss team, to squeak through to this stage.
The Spanish-Italian rivalry is legendary in football, with both teams having matched up on 16 different occasions competitively, stretching all the way back to the second World Cup quarter finals in 1934. Of the 16 games, Italy has the better record, having six wins to Spain’s three. However, as you might have noticed, most games, indeed seven, have ended in a draw. The most memorable match between the two sides was their 2012 Euro Final meeting, which Spain won 4-0. In fact, over their competitive meetings, 18 Italian and 15 Spanish goals have been scored, making this a highly entertaining fixture.
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To date, Italy have won all their games, scoring eleven and conceding twice on their way to the semi finals. On the other hand, Spain have drawn twice, winning the rest, while scoring twelve and conceding five.
Having reviewed the statistics, we believe that there are goals in this game, but that ultimately Italy will win. We would suggest a bet of Italy to win and both teams to score.
Before looking at the stats going into this game, you would be forgiven for thinking that this may be somewhat of an “unstoppable force meets and immovable object” encounter, as the free-scoring Spain met the impenetrable Italian Catenaccio defence. The stats, however, show that both teams have been quite high scoring, with Italy only having scored one less than the Spanish to date.
This suggests a likelihood of goals in the semi-final showdown, but we at BettingTips.net feel Italy will prove to be too strong for Spain, and will likely only concede once. If Spain have any chance of progression, they will need to push on if they manage to score once, so as not to rue missed chances, like they did when they faced the Swiss team in the last round, narrowly avoiding defeat. No doubt this will be a highly entertaining fixture, with the Italians the slight favourites to secure a spot at this year’s Final.