It is officially down to the last three matches of the EURO 2020 championship. Italy, Spain, England and Denmark will all battle it out for a spot in next weekend’s final at Wembley Stadium. There are two intriguing semi-final matches to determine who will be in the final as Italy play Spain and England face-off against Denmark. Here is a look at the two matches and predict who will play for the trophy next Sunday.
Italy vs. Spain
Spain beat Italy 4-0 in the final of UEFA EURO 20212 in their classic tiki-taka style, but times have changed since then. Italy come into this match having won their last 13 matches and are unbeaten in the last 32 (W27, D5). They handed the number one nation an early exit last time out.
Spain have been up and down this tournament. They drew their first two matches 0-0 and then scored five in the last group match and in the round of 16 against Croatia. They were able to get across the line against ten-man Switzerland, winning in penalties to secure their semi-final spot. Spanish fans will be hoping the likes of a world class opponent in Italy will wake their side up.
Player to watch: Lorenzo Insigne
He scored the winner against Belgium in the quarter-finals and was a bright spot for Italy going forward in attack. He should be able to give this shaky Spanish backline problems with his ability to cut inside from the left and create goals with both feet.
Italy: Donnarumma; Florenzi, Bonucci, Chiellini, Emerson; Barella, Joringho, Veratti; Chiesa, Immibile, Insigne
Spain: De Gea; Azpilicueta, García, Laporte, Alba; Koke, Busquets, Pedri; Moreno, Morata, Olmo
England vs. Denmark
England took a quick trip to Rome to dispatch Ukraine and book their place in the semi-finals. Denmark continued to look dominant in their 2-1 win over the Czech Republic. Denmark has been the story of this tournament, but England will have home-field advantage in London.
After a terribly passive start to EURO 2020 England finally looked a strong side with the 4-0 win over Ukraine and have looked stronger in every match. England will have a full squad available for selection and should continue in the same formation. The back-four and midfield pairing of Kalvin Phillips and Declan Rice are yet to concede a goal at this year’s tournament. The attack had a 2.14 xG against Ukraine and Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane both sit on three goals.
Denmark lost their first two matches, but have played well recently and have only had one bad match. They held off a second-half scare from the Czech Republic to book a match-up with England at Wembley. Thomas Delaney and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg control possession and create most opportunities for this Danish side, but will have trouble against England. Southgate constantly overwhelmed the wide areas on the pitch, either with midfielders or wing-backs. England has a good collection of players that should get them to the final.
Player to Watch: Harry Kane
Coming off a brace in his last match, Harry Kane has three in his last two and looks to finally hit his goal-scoring form in the knockout rounds. Kane had a spectacular left-footed shot from outside the box saved by the Ukraine keeper. It prevented Kane from a hat-trick and will motivate him for more goals next time out.
England: Pickford; Shaw, Stones, Maguire, Walker; Phillips, Rice; Sterling, Grealish, Saka; Kane
Denmark: Schmiechel; Vestergaard, Kjær, Christensen; Mæhle, Delaney, Hojbjerg, Larsen; Braithwaite, Damsgaard, Dolberg