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Spain vs Italy, UEFA Euro 2024, Today Match Prediction

Veltins Arena, Gelsenkirchen, North Rhine-Westphalia

The Clash of the arch-rivals of European Football

  • Spain has scored 19 goals in their last six matches averaging 3 goals per game.
  • Italy has scored 7 goals in their last six matches averaging 1 goal per game.
  • Across 16 meetings, Spain holds the advantage with 7 victories. Italy has secured 2 wins, and the remaining 7 matches ended in draws.

Spain to Win (2-1)

Tournament: UEFA Euro 2024 | Venue: Veltins Arena, Gelsenkirchen, North Rhine-Westphalia

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Two top nations will clash of each other in a crucial second match that could send them into the round of 16. Italy, looking to repeat as champions, have started strong winning their past two matches after some struggles in the qualifiers. This victory could be a confidence boost as they aim to return to the FIFA World Cup for the first time since 2014. Having beaten Spain 10 times before and defeating them in the European Championship since late 2012, Italy has reason to be optimistic. 

Spain will be heavily reliant on Alvaro Morata. His 4 goals in 6 matches and 3 goals in the World Cup make him a leader who can be a focal point in attack for this young team. Italy's recent performances have been dominated by Federico Chiesa, who should continue to improve his playing ability. His two crucial goals helped Italy qualify for the Euro Cup and he plays a key role in their goalscoring. 

Spain Record: The spanish side won their opening encounter against Croatia 3-0 and are positioned at the top of the table in group B with three points. 

Italy Record: They won their first match against Albania 2-1 and are positioned second in the Group B with three points. It is a crucial fixture for both the teams as a win here will almost guarantee them a top two finish. 

Spain Preview

This year's Spanish National Team is a formidable force as always, built around the experience of veterans Dani Carvajal and Alvaro Morata. They boast one of the most productive goal-scoring units in the world, creating a vast amount of opportunities and finishing from a variety of options. Nico Williams could play the biggest role out of the bunch. He showcased both his goal-scoring and shot-creating ability with 5 goals and 11 assists for Athletic Club this season.

Pedri, with 2 goals and an assist through 3 matches for Spain this year, has shown the skill to disrupt defenders with the ball at his feet through incredible dribbling tactics while creating a strong combination with fellow midfielder Rodri. Rodri's performances, with 8 goals and 9 assists for Manchester City, make the partnership one of the toughest to guard in the world as both midfielders can do nearly everything, including playing defense.

Feeding the ball to veteran Alvaro Morata, who has notched 15 goals with 3 assists for Atletico Madrid this year and boasts 7 career European Cup goals, is a huge deal. He has not only shown the ability to strike from anywhere but has also become a leader for a very young squad that has been together for just five years. If he continues working well with Lamine Yamal and Dani Carvajal continues leading youngsters like Alejandro Grimaldo, this team will be a real threat. 

Spain Probable Starting XI:  Unai Simon (Goalkeeper); Dani Carvajal, Alejandro Grimaldo, Robin Le Normand, Nacho (Defenders); Pedri, Rodri, Fabian Ruiz (Midfielders); Lamine Yamal, Alvaro Morata, Nico Williams (Forwards)

Italy Preview

Italy's success rests on the shoulders of goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, who just had another historic season for Paris Saint-Germain, adding 11 more clean sheets to his already impressive tally.  Hailed as one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time at the young age of 25, Donnarumma is backed by a formidable defense. 

Defenders like Giovanni Di Lorenzo (36 appearances with an impressive 3 goals) and Alessandro Bastoni (24 caps plus 2 goals for Italy) continue to play a crucial role in supporting him, as they did during the 2020 European Championship. Federico Dimarco has also been a vital part of this defense, making it one of the top units in Europe.

With their ability to initiate attacks, these defenders have given midfielders Davide Frattesi (5 goals in 16 international matches) and Lorenzo Pellegrini (who provided a crucial assist in the last Euro Cup match and has 8 goals with 3 assists for Roma this season) a great opportunity to create scoring chances. 

Nicolo Barella is another key player who can contribute in both defense and offense. He has shown his growth in the offensive game with 3 assists in 7 Qualifier Matches and scored an essential goal to seal the first match in this tournament.If these players can perform at their peak, as some did in the 2020 Euros, and Federico Chiesa continues to develop, Italy will be a team to be feared. 

Italy Probable Starting XI: Gianluigi Donnarumma (Goalkeeper); Federico Dimarco, Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Alessandro Bastoni, Riccardo Calafiori (Defenders); Nicolò Barella, Jorginho, Davide Frattesi, Lorenzo Pellegrini (Midfielders); Federico Chiesa, Gianluca Scamacca (Forwards) 

Entering this match, Spain has the advantage of greater experience, including World Cup appearances, compared to many Italian players. While Italy emerged victorious in 2020, the core of their team is no longer present. Facing a Spanish attack that has been together for over four years will be their biggest challenge yet.

Despite Italy's sound defense, the pace of 16-year-old star Lamine Yamal and 21-year-old Nico Williams could disrupt the back line, especially considering most of Italy's defenders are in their early 30s. This could force the Italians into more frequent double teams.

Italy, who initially struggled against top teams in the European Qualifiers, might face similar issues if Spain scores early. Their inability to handle pressure through dribbling or passing could give the Spanish players an even bigger advantage. 

Spain to Win (2-1)


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Author: Neev Chopra