- Italy vs Spain takes centre stage tonight as both teams will battle it out in the Euro 2020 semifinal
- The clash is interesting because there are a number of subplots involved
- The two nations have met a staggering seven times in knockout competitions in the Euros
If there is a rivalry that is not strange to the veteran football fans, it is Italy versus Spain in the Euros.
The two sides meet once again in a cheeky twist of fate in the Euro 2020 semi-final in a clash that definitely promises to be a cracker.
Roberto Mancini’s Italy have been almost flawless so far in the tournament, having won all their games to this point.
For Spain, there is no denying they are playing some impressive football but what has been lacking at times is their finishing touch, despite the fact that they are the top scorers in this competition so far.
Ahead of the clash, Legit.ng looks at six interesting facts about the meeting between two of Europe’s footballing nations:
1. The match at Wembley will have more England fans than Italy/Spain fans
One of the more controversial facts about the match is the fact that it will be graced by neutral fans more than supporters of Italy and Spain respectively.
The game will be played at Wembley, which is the same venue as the other semi-final clash between England and Denmark.
Italian FA president Gabriele Gravina recently revealed they have been given 125 tickets out of a possible 60,000.
Even if Italian and Spanish fans decided to travel for the match, they would still have to be quarantined for some days, as per the UK government regulations.
2. Meeting number 7 between the two nations in Euro knockouts
As mentioned earlier, this is the most familiar fixture in Euro knockout recent history as these tow sides have clashed previously in the past.
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Spain’s only win against Italy in 90 minutes came in the 2012 final while as recently as in Euro 2016, Italy beat the Spaniards in the last 16.
3. Spain more successful than Italy in Euros
Italy have only won the European championship once, in 1968, while Spain are looking for their third title, and first in nearly nine years.
4. Italy slight favourites because of frightening unbeaten run
The Azurri are on the ascendancy and one of their biggest weapons is the fact that they have not experienced defeat in more than three years.
They won all their group game before beating Austria in extra time in the last 16 and subsequently eliminating Belgium, the nation ranked number one worldwide, in the quarters.
In contrast, Spain are free-scorers but still struggle for wins and have only won once in 90 minutes in their five games in the Euros so far.
5. Unlike most managers, both Enrique and Mancini have enjoyed success in club football
Both the Italy and Spain managers are no strangers to fans as they previously enjoyed success when they were club managers.
Mancini is famous for the dramatic Premier League title win with Manchester City in 2012 while Luis Enrique managed arguably the most frightening Barcelona side in modern history which was responsible for a famous Champions League victory in 2015.
Earlier, Legit.ng reported that the final of the ongoing Euro 2020 will be between England and Italy according to a supercomputer which claims the Three Lions would not emerge champions.
England will lose to Italy in the final to be staged at Wembley Stadium, but Gareth Southgate’s team will need to defeat Denmark in the Semis to have a chance in the final says the supercomputer.
Gareth Southgate’s side put up a spectacular show in the last eight having whitewashed Ukraine 4-0 and will hope to defeat Denmark on Wednesday night.
The winner of the tie will face-off with the winner of the game between Italy and Spain billed for Tuesday night.