European draw, semifinals guide: Italy-Spain and England-Denmark

European draw, semifinals guide: Italy-Spain and England-Denmark
European draw, semifinals guide: Italy-Spain and England-Denmark

Mancini will try to limit the Spanish dribble, in the other confrontation England will chase their first final against the revelation Denmark

Manuele Loscerbo

July 5th
– MILANO

Euro 2020 reaches its final week, the one in which the name of the European champion team will be decreed in the “Final Four” of Wembley. Italy-Spain (Tuesday 6 July at 21.00) and England-Denmark (Wednesday 7 July at 21.00) the two semifinals: the names of the national teams that will compete for the trophy in the final on Sunday 11 July will come out of these crossings.

ITALY-SPAIN

Total balance, 2 wins on each side and 2 draws, in the previous 6 between Italy and Spain at the European Championships. The two national teams met at least once in each of the last 3 editions of the tournament: in 2008 the Iberians triumphed, 4-2 after penalties, in 2012 there were two comparisons, 1-1 in the group stage and 4-0 for Spain in the final, in 2016 it was the Italy of Antonio Conte that prevailed, 2-0, thanks to goals from Chiellini and Pellè.

Very bitter for Italy the memory of the last match with the Spaniards, on 2 September 2017, when in the match of the qualifying round for the World Cup in Russia, the Iberians won 3-0 (brace from Isco and goal from Morata) against the Ventura national team, condemning the Azzurri to second place in the group. The play-off with Sweden followed and the failure to qualify for the World Cup.

THE KEY

Italy returns to play a European semi-final 9 years after the last time (2-1 to Germany in 2012) and comes from the only team always winning in all the matches of Euro 2020. A row of successes – against Turkey, Wales and Switzerland in the group and against Austria and Belgium in the knockout stage – which brought the winning streak between qualifiers and finals to 15. For Mancini, the key to maintaining the trend could lie in midfield: ball possession and quick exchange, subjects in which the Iberians are professors, the Azzurri combine greater effectiveness in high pressing and vertical play. Jorginho, Verratti and Barella guarantee vision and coverage, characteristics that the possible grafts of Locatelli and Pessina do not impoverish. The Spaniards, who make their identity out of possession, could pay for the pressure of Italy, if Italy is able to propose itself with the same intensity shown up to this point.

Spain will rely in the median on the experience of Sergio Busquets, whose return coincided with a clear evolution of Roja’s offensive effectiveness (11 goals in the last 3 games against Slovakia, Croatia and Switzerland, after disappointing draws against Sweden and Poland) . Where the Iberians should be superior will be the flanks, in which Azpilicueta and Jordi Alba have something more on paper than Emerson and Di Lorenzo.

Tuesday 6 July at 9.00 pm

Diretta streaming: Sky Go, Now Tv, Rai Play

ENGLAND-DENMARK

On the one hand England, called to give concrete form to that “Football’s coming home” which is the voice of the hopes of the fans of the Three Lions, who have never tasted the taste of victory (nor that of a European final); on the other hand, the revelation team of the tournament, Denmark, behind in their predictions but intent on demonstrating that miracles, such as the victory of the 1992 European Championships, can be repeated. For both, Wednesday’s will be the third European semi-final in their history: for Denmark a 1984 defeat against Spain and a 1992 victory against Holland; two defeats for England, against Yugoslavia in 1968 and against Germany in 1996.

For Gareth Southgate, the English coach, it will be an opportunity to cancel the disappointment of the defeat against the Germans, against whom he missed the decisive penalty on the way to the home European final.

THE CHALLENGE

England qualified as first in Group D following successes against Croatia and the Czech Republic and a draw against Scotland, then eliminated Germany and Ukraine in the round of 16 and quarter-finals. In front of his audience he knows he cannot make mistakes and more than one factor seems to anticipate the conquest of a chased and never reached final: Wembley will push its boys and it can be an added value, the opponent is (on paper) the least equipped. of the four semi-finalists, Kane has unlocked, the defense is impenetrable.

The rearguard, which seemed to be the weak point of the British, turned out to be the added value: the main merit in this sense is to be recognized precisely to Southgate, which to compensate for the shortcomings of the defensive department has affixed a couple of containment medians such as Rice and Phillips to levee in front of the rear. Then there is him, Harry Kane, finally back on his own levels with 3 goals in the last two games (1 to Germany and 2 to Ukraine) after three very subdued matches in the group stage.

Qualifying as second in Group B behind Belgium, Denmark will try to respond with what is now its brand, a solid group identity, which has strengthened following the near tragedy of Christian Eriksen. Kasper Hjulmand’s team has compacted, is mentally solid and capable of fielding a concrete and effective maneuver in the opposing half, with Kasper Dolberg finalizing the attacking action of two dynamic strikers such as Mikkel Damsgaard and Martin Braithwaite.

Wednesday 7 July at 21.00

Diretta streaming: Sky Go, Now Tv, Rai Play

July 5, 2021 (change July 5, 2021 | 17:26)

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