Italy vs. Spain Betting Odds, Pick, Prediction: Offenses Will Find Success in Euro 2020 Semifinal (July 6)
Christof Stache – Pool/Getty Images. Pictured: Nicolo Barella (left) and Marco Verratti.
- Italy is favored over Spain in Euro 2020 semifinal action on Tuesday, July 6 (3 p.m. ET, ESPN).
- Both teams have showed some vulnerability on defense, but Spain especially has been snakebitten when trying to finish throughout most of the tournament, while Italy has feasted on offense through five matches.
- Get our Italy vs. Spain pick, preview and updated odds below.
Italy vs. Spain Odds for Euro 2020
|Over/Under||2.5 (+130 / -157)|
|Day | Time||Tuesday | 3 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||ESPN | fuboTV|
|Odds updated Monday afternoon via DraftKings.|
The most-played match in European Championship history features rivals that have faced each another in seemingly every version of this tournament.
Italy beat Spain in the Round of 16 in 2016, while the Spanish won the Euro 2012 final over the Italians. In 2008, Spain won on penalties in the Round of 16.
Both nations have rich international histories, with both earning historic wins over the another that all serve as the context for Tuesday’s game at Wembley Stadium in London. The first spot in Sunday’s Euro 2020 final is on the line.
Spain survived a penalty shootout against Switzerland to make the semifinal, while Italy has dazzled its way to this point with five consecutive wins.
The Italians enter as slight favorites, but the total is too low. These powerful offenses will exploit the opposition’s defense in specific areas on the pitch.
New Version of Italy Enters Semifinal on Fire
A nation known more historically for its stout defending and grind-it-out style of play, Italy’s midfield ball control and attacking flair has carried it into the semifinal.
Azzurri did suffer a setback in their 2-1 quarterfinal win against Belgium with the injury of left wingback Leonardo Spinazzola. The Roma player had been brilliant going forward, occupying wide spaces and allowing left winger Lorenzo Insigne to cut inside and create. His loss likely means Emerson starts in his place, and he’s not quite as effective as Spinazzola in the attacking third.
Spinazzola’s loss means more ball progression through the middle, where Nicolo Barella has quietly had an excellent tournament, which has so far been capped by an excellent individual goal against Belgium.
If Spain plays Sergio Busquets as a single pivot in this match with Koké and Pedri (as they did against Switzerland), it will be difficult for Busquets to occupy the pressing of Marco Verratti, passing range of Jorginho and Barella’s forward runs. This especially becomes a problem in transition, where Spain has looked vulnerable down the wings and Federico Chiesa has shone on the right wing for Azzurri.
Italy’s attack has the second-most passes into the penalty area, third most into the final third and has been excellent on crosses, an area that Spain has really struggled to defend with their questionable center-back play and subpar fullback play defensively.
Italy can pressure Spain’s back four into mistakes, much like how Croatia was able to in the second half of their Round of 16 match.
Vulnerable Spain Thrives Going Forward
Spain have looked vulnerable without the ball each time they haven’t had it, allowing an above-average amount of shots from direct attacks. It’s how Sweden, Poland and Belgium found success against Spain, and Italy can do the same to their defense.
Going forward, though, there’s no reason to doubt this Spanish attack. They looked a bit toothless against Switzerland until Remo Freuler’s red card in the middle of the second half, but that match looked like manager Luis Enrique had the handbrake on. The wingers stayed wide, the players were much more rigid to their positions and they took fewer risks on the ball.
Spain don’t have the option to play that way in this match because Italy won’t give them the same stale, boring possession they had against Switzerland.
Italy will press and win the ball and immediately look to break, which could cause this match to be much more open than either of Spain’s two knockout matches were in the opening 45 minutes.
Spain haven’t been given a ton of opportunities to attack in transition, but their personnel suggests they’d be quite good at it given the passing range of Pedri, the ball progression of Jordi Alba up the left and the underrated positional play of forward Alvaro Morata.
Italy vs. Spain Analysis & Pick
If this match weren’t a European semifinal, the total would be higher. Neither team is defense first, with both displaying vulnerabilities at the back. This match should be high intensity in the midfield, because of both nations’ desire to have the ball and press to win it back.
Spain has looked vulnerable without the ball each time it hasn’t had it, allowing an above-average number of shots from direct attacks. It’s how Sweden, Poland and Belgium found success against Spain, and Italy can do the same.
I don’t think either manager takes a conservative approach. Spain isn’t good enough without the ball to defend that way for long, plus Italy only plays one way under manager Roberto Mancini. That’s unlikely to change from the Italians’ high-octane approach even without Spinazzola.
Of the two semifinals, this is the one where to expect plenty of goals.
Pick: Total Over 2.5 Goals (+130 — play at +110 or better)
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