Spain vs Italy

Veltins Arena in Gelsenkirchen is the venue as Spain and Italy go head-to-head in a blockbuster Euro 2024 Group B showdown.

Spain couldn’t have begun their Euro 2024 journey any better as they trounced perennial overachievers Croatia 3-0 in their opening Group B fixture, with all three goals coming before halftime. Poised to reach the Euros knockout phase for the fifth time in a row with a game to spare, Luis de la Fuente’s men come into proceedings driven by revenge after Italy ended their last two Euro tournaments. Confidence is bursting at the seams following three consecutive wins by a combined score of 13-1 and an equally outstanding qualifying campaign (W7, D1). Delivering action from the get-go, ‘La Furia Roja’ have bagged ten first-half goals across their last four internationals. However, the Iberian heavyweights can’t take anything for granted after drawing four of their seven previous meetings with Italy at the tournament.

In the meantime, Italy recovered from conceding the earliest goal at the Euro finals to beat Albania 2-1 in their curtain-raising fixture despite falling behind after only 23 seconds. Manager Luciano Spalletti is now keen to replicate his predecessor’s feat and guide ‘Gli Azzurri’ to a perfect Euro group stage campaign, just as Roberto Mancini did in the triumphant 2020 edition. Spalletti can take heart from Italy’s seven-game unbeaten streak in the build-up to this mouth-watering clash (W5, D2). But as the Italians couldn’t score more than twice in seven of their last eight outings, it’ll be up to Spalletti’s defense to shoulder the burden. Simply avoiding defeat against Spain would probably catapult Italy into the Euro knockouts for the fifth tournament on the spin.

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