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Euro 2020: Analysis of the Semi-Final Matches

We have arrived at the penultimate stages of Euro 2020 with just a couple of games separating the four sides who have survived so far from the prestigious Henri Delaunay Trophy. Italy will square off against Spain in the first semi-final while England will take on Denmark.

Italy have been the most enthralling side at Euro 2020 and have rarely been threatened. Roberto Mancini has led the Azzurri to a 32-game unbeaten run and would want to make it 34 by adding yet another European Championship to the prestigious trophy cabinet of Italian football.

Spain had a nightmare of a beginning at Euro 2020 and the noise back home didn’t aid the side either. Their forwards were guilty of squandering several chances, but Luis Enrique’s side has gotten better as the tournament has progressed.

England have been one of the strongest contenders for the title this year and despite a cagey group-stage affair, TThe Three Lions have set the tournament alight in the knockout rounds. Their latest 4-0 thumping of Ukraine in the quarters just goes to show their ability to entertain.

Denmark have been the surprise of this year’s European Championships. For humanitarian reasons and beyond, they are the favourite team of every neutral fan. Denmark witnessed the tragedy surrounding Christian Eriksen in the opening encounter and instead of getting demoralised, they bounced back even stronger and will now aim to lift their second European trophy.

Let’s take a detailed look at the two semi-final matches:

 

ITALY VS SPAIN EURO 2020 SEMI-FINAL 

The two sides have met thrice in the last three European Championships. La Roja got the better of the Azzurri in 2008 and in the 2012 final. However, Italy had the last laugh and eliminated Spain at Euro 2016.

Italy have probably been the most coherent side in the tournament and Mancini’s team have played fluid football. They have been rock-solid in defence while the midfield engine has sparkled and the forward line has been decisive. It won’t be surprising to see Italy go all the way and win their second European Championships – their first one since 1968.

Spain might have fallen off after their all-conquering era between 2008 and 2012, but the young brigade under Luis Enrique has shown plenty of promise. Spain’s attackers were guilty of being wasteful in the initial stages of the tournament.

However, La Roja have collectively improved with time and their chemistry appears to be more evident now. Although Spain did require penalties to beat Switzerland in the quarter-final, the semi-final will be a whole different ball game.

 

FORM GUIDES AND PREDICTED STARTING LINEUPS 

Italy’s form guide at Euro 2020: W-W-W-W-W

Spain’s form guide at Euro 2020: W-W-W-D-D

Italy Probable Playing XI (4-3-3): Gianluigi Donnarumma, Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Leonardo Bonucci, Georgio Chiellini, Emerson, Nicolo Barella, Jorginho, Marco Verratti, Federico Chiesa, Ciro Immobile, Lorenzo Insigne

Spain Probable Playing XI (4-3-3): Unai Simon, Cesar Azpilicueta, Aymeric Laporte, Pau Torres, Jordi Alba, Koke, Sergio Busquets, Pedri, Ferran Torres, Alvaro Morata, Dani Olmo

 

ENGLAND VS DENMARK EURO 2020 SEMI-FINAL 

England and Denmark have met twice before in major international tournaments. The first time these two sides squared off, they shared a goalless draw but Denmark eventually went on to win the competition at Euro 1992. England then defeated Denmark 3-0 at the 2002 World Cup.

England have hardly been threatened at the European Championships so far and besides their goalless draw with Scotland, they have looked comfortable in almost all their matches at the tournament. 

Gareth Southgate’s side hit top gear for the first time at Euro 2020 in the previous match against Ukraine and put four goals past Ukrainian keeper Georgiy Bushchan. Will the European Championships be ‘coming home’ is a question that has been making plenty of rounds. In front of a packed Wembley crowd, England will believe that they can achieve glory and secure their place in the final.

Denmark’s remarkable comeback following the distraught tragedy in the opening match against Finland and going toe-to-toe with the best teams in Europe and booking a semi-final berth is the feel-good story of this year’s European Championship. They have been solid in defence while the midfield packs a lot of power, tenacity, and punch. Denmark have nothing to be afraid of and nothing to lose when they face England in front of a loud Wembley crowd.

 

FORM GUIDES AND PREDICTED STARTING LINEUPS 

England’s form guide at Euro 2020: W-W-W-D-W

Denmark’s form guide at Euro 2020: W-W-W-L-L

England Probable Playing XI (4-2-3-1): Jordan Pickford; Kyle Walker, John Stones, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw; Declan Rice, Kalvin Phillips; Bukayo Saka/Jadon Sancho, Mason Mount, Raheem Sterling; Harry Kane

Denmark Probable Playing XI (4-2-3-1): Kasper Schmeichel; Jannik Vestergaard, Andreas Christensen, Simon Kjaer; Jens Stryger Larsen, Thomas Delaney, Pierre Emile Hojbjerg, Joakim Maehle; Mikkel Damsgaard, Kasper Dolberg, Martin Braithwaite

 

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