A feisty encounter is on the cards as heavyweights Spain and Italy lock horns tonight in the UEFA Nations League semi-finals in a bid to set up a final against Croatia.
Spain embark on a new era with Luis de la Fuente after Luis Enrique was sacked from the managerial role following the World Cup Round of 16 exit versus Morocco. The manager is yet to prove his positive impact on the team as he faced both a win and a loss in his first two games in charge. The 3-0 comprehensive victory against Norway soon turned bitter with a 2-0 defeat to Scotland in the Euro qualifiers in March. With the retirement of Sergio Busquets from the national side, Spain are undergoing a transition period and the call-up of Gavi, Yeremy Pino and Ansu Fati will provide the right young impetus to La Roja.
Meanwhile, Italy will aim to clinch another European accolade after winning the Euro 2020 at Wembley. Despite their Euro triumph, Roberto Mancini’s men again fell short to qualify for the World Cup 2022 and missed the competition consecutively twice. The Azzurri managed to make their way into the Nations League semi-finals from the group of death consisting of the likes of England, Germany and Hungary.
Here are the predicted line-ups for the match according to Sky Italia:
Spain (4-2-3-1): Kepa; Carvajal, LeNormand, Nacho, Jordi Alba; Rodri, Merino; Asensio, Gavi, Ansu Fati; Morata.
Italy (4-3-3): Donnarumma; Di Lorenzo, Acerbi, Toloi, Spinazzola; Barella, Jorginho, Verratti; Zaniolo, Immobile, Raspadori.
Trambak Bhattacherjee | GIFN