Euro 2020, Italy vs Spain: Three key battles that could decide outcome of the match

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Italy are looking in impressive form, winning 15 games in a row and being 32 games unbeaten by defeating the world’s top-ranked team Belgium in Quarter-final. Spain on the other hand, after a fairly shaky start to their Euro campaign, have managed to hit their stride scoring 11 goals in the last three games and getting past the Swiss team in the shootout.

So, there will be some important battles all across the pitch in the semi-final with both nations boasting star-studded lineups and these three battles could play a key part in deciding the outcome of the game:

Emerson Palmieri vs Ferran Torres

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After star full-back Leonardo Spinazzola’s injury against Belgium, the responsibility to keep Spain’s right-winger at bay is likely to fall on Emerson. So, Emerson’s primary responsibility will be to support the defensive duo of Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini in holding right-winger Torres. The Manchester City winger enjoys cutting inside the box and is equally adept at putting in pin-point crosses. So Emerson will have to be careful of those movements.

Jorginho vs Pedri

Jorginho has been immense so far for the Azurris, marshalling the midfield and showing he has the distribution skills to get his team moving forward. However, against Spain, he will have to keep an eye on the defensive aspects as well. Youngster Pedri has been the main player for the La Roja in the middle to move the ball forward. Jorginho will be the man responsible for tracking his runs and disrupting his impact in Italy’s half. This promises to be an interesting contest and whoever succeeds could turn the game in their favour.

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Ciro Immobile vs Aymeric Laporte

Despite a dry run in recent games, Immobile will once again be the center of the Italian attacks and trusted with poaching goals for Mancini. The 31-year-old will look to exploit any space while holding up the ball and bringing the midfielders into the attack. His direct challenge in the semi-final is likely to be Aymeric Laporte. The Spanish defender has done well in a shaky Spanish defence and definitely, this battle could decide the outcome of the game.

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