Italy vs Spain – UEFA Nations League semi-final LIVE: Roberto Mancini’s European champions host Luis Enrique’s side in rematch of their Euro 2020 last-four encounter
- Italy welcome Spain to the San Siro for their UEFA Nations League semi-final
- Two sides meet for the first time since Italy beat Spain in the Euro 2020 semis
- READ: Why the Nations League finals are set to be spectacular
- Latest Nations League news, including live action and results
Spain will be out for revenge when they take on Italy in their UEFA Nations League semi-final tonight, just months after Roberto Mancini’s side beat them on the way to Euro 2020 glory.
It’s the first time the two nations have met since their last-four encounter at Wembley, which saw the Italians edge their rivals 4-2 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in normal time to reach the Euro 2020 final.
Follow Sportsmail’s SAM BLITZ for live Nations League semi-final coverage of Italy vs Spain, including build-up, team news and updates.
Both sides are warming up ahead of this San Siro classic.
Any doubts about the importance of the Nations League? Just take a look at these serious faces…
The San Siro is a great stadium, and there will be two great managers on the touchline in Milan this evening.
Roberto Mancini helped Italy win Euro 2020 this summer. Luis Enrique came close to doing the same while he is also the last manager to guide Barcelona to the treble in 2015.
Managerial credentials do not get much better than what these two have. Let’s hope they both produce tactical masterclasses tonight.
You can tell Luis Enrique and Pep Guardiola both came through the ranks at Barcelona. The Spain manager has selected a Nations League finals squad with NO recognised striker with Italy and one of France or Belgium to come this week.
Enrique has, however, named a few exciting players in teenage midfielder Gavi, who starts tonight with just seven Barcelona appearances to his name so far, while Ferran Torres is expected to be in a false nine role.
Here’s Sportsmail’s PETE JENSON in Spain about how the country are feeling ahead of tonight’s clash…
Still not excited for these Nations League finals yet? Let us change your mind.
How important are these finals to four teams? Who needs it most? Which countries have reacted the best since Euro 2020?
All those questions are answered in Sportsmail’s guide below…
Italy, France, Spain, Belgium. Four of the biggest international heavyweights in the world today.
Giorgio Chiellini, Kylian Mbappe, Sergio Busquets, Kevin de Bruyne – four of the best players in their positions hoping to guide their teams to glory this month.
Who are you backing?
So, in case anyone needed a reminder of how the Nations League work, here’s a quick explainer:
The four teams playing the finals won their respective ‘A’ group during the Nations League group stages.
Italy take on Spain in tonight’s semi-final, with Belgium playing France on Thursday night to decide the other finalist. Extra-time and penalties will be needed to decide matches if both end up in the draw.
The final will take place this Sunday (October 10), with a third-placed play-off taking place 24 hours beforehand.
Luis Enrique, meanwhile, has made four changes from his Spain side that suffered heartbreak at Wembley in the Euro 2020 semi-final.
Out of form Barcelona defender Eric Garcia is replaced by Pau Torres at the back, while Marcos Alonso starts instead of Jordi Alba at left-back.
Exciting Barcelona teenager Gavi starts instead of Pedri, while Dani Olmo is dropped for Pablo Sarabia in the front three alongside Dani Olmo and Ferran Torres.
Roberto Mancini’s Italy have made just two changes from the side that beat Spain at the Euro 2020 semi-final.
Ciro Immobile is not in the matchday squad, with Federico Bernadeschi starting in his place. Federico Chiesa is expected on the right with Lorenzo Insigne on the left.
At the back, Giorgio Chiellini is left on the bench with Inter Milan’s Alessandro Bastoni – also a left-sided centre-back – starting instead.
Italy and Spain have given us plenty of European drama this season already.
Both countries gave us a thrilling Euro 2020 semi-final at Wembley that could only be separated by penalties. Gli Azzurri progressed to the final where they beat England, while Luis Enrique’s La Roja were heartbroken under the arch.
Both countries’ domestic teams have suffered tumultuous summers as well. Spain lost Lionel Messi, Italy lost Cristiano Ronaldo and Romelu Lukaku. Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus are not the teams they once were…
But both countries come together for another semi-final. One of the Nations League finallists will be decided tonight. Let’s hope for more fireworks.
Kick-off at the San Siro is at 7.45pm (BST) with team news already out. Let’s get stuck in…
Share this article
Source: Read Full Article