Spain XI vs Italy: Predicted lineup, latest Euros semi-final team news


pain will hope that their considerable Euro 2020 knockout exertions have not proved too draining ahead of Tuesday’s heavyweight semi-final showdown with Italy at Wembley.

After low-key draws with Poland and Sweden cost them the chance to top Group E, La Roja – who advanced as runners-up after a 5-0 drubbing of Slovakia – have since been involved in two energy-sapping battles.

First was the eight-goal last-16 thriller against Croatia in Copenhagen, which saw Alvaro Morata and Mikel Oyarzabal crucially strike in extra-time after Spain totally collapsed in a match that they led 3-1 heading into the final five minutes of the original 90.

Then was Friday’s quarter-final tie against a Switzerland team responsible for ousting tournament favourites France, with Luis Enrique’s side failing to dispatch 10 men in Saint Petersburg before holding their nerve in the ensuing penalty shootout.

Luis Enrique must now carefully assess the condition of his players as he seeks to pick the perfect lineup to carry three-time European Championship winners Spain past formidable Italy and into Sunday’s final at Wembley against one of England or Denmark.

There is a feeling that new Barcelona signing Eric Garcia could return to the heart of defence in London in place of Villarreal’s Pau Torres, with a mix-up between the latter and Manchester City’s Aymeric Laporte leading to Xherdan Shaqiri equalising for Switzerland after Denis Zakaria had earlier inadvertently deflected Jordi Alba’s effort beyond his own goalkeeper.

The rest of the defence should remain the same, with Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta and Jordi Alba at full-back and Unai Simon continuing in goal, having fully recovered now from his remarkable blunder against Croatia.

The midfield trio of Koke, captain Sergio Busquets and Pedri should also continue, though there could be a change in the final third.

Paris Saint-Germain winger Pablo Sarabia suffered a muscle strain in the first half against Switzerland and is facing a battle to be fit in time for Tuesday’s semi-final.

If Sarabia is out, then Dani Olmo will be once again expected to deputise alongside Alvaro Morata and Gerard Moreno, just as the RB Leipzig star did off the bench in Russia on Friday.

Spain predicted lineup

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