Italy will face another tough test at Euro 2020 this Tuesday evening as they take on an ever-improving Spain side in the first of this summer’s two semi-finals at Wembley.
Having overcome Austria and Belgium in the knockout rounds so far – needing extra time to overcome Austria before stepping up to another level against Belgium. Spain, meanwhile, needed penalties to beat Switzerland and extra time to get past Croatia.
Here are five things that could decide Tuesday’s semi-final.
Marcos Llorente and Italy’s left-hand side
The Atletico Madrid midfielder is a right-back with Spain, and his selection there has raised some eyebrows at Euro 2020. Undoubtedly capable of playing there, as he had shown during the season for Los Rojiblancos, Luis Enrique’s adamance that that’s his position when he plays for his country hasn’t allowed him to contribute as much in attack as he does for his club.
Now, though, with Roma’s Leonardo Spinazzola’s tournament finished through injury, Italy have a vulnerability on their left that Llorente could take advantage of if he returns to the side to displace Cesar Azpilicueta. Chelsea’s Emerson Palmieri will be his opponent on his flank, and the Atleti star will be confident that he can get the better of their battle. Without too many weaknesses in Roberto Mancini’s side, Luis Enrique will be keen to test Emerson.