Spain had set up a meeting with Italy in the Euro 2016 Round of 16 later on Monday night
The meeting will be a 3rd time in European championship for the last 4 years after a 1-1 draw in the 2012 group stage and Italy lost 4-0 in the finals.
Pior to Euro 2008, Spain had never beaten Italy at any major tournament. However, the situation reverse where Italy never won against Spanish in the last 2 tournament.
1) Euro 2008 R16 Vienna
Italy lost 2-4 to Spain in penalties (0-0 AET)
2) Euro 2012 Group Stage Gdansk
Italy drew 1-1 with Spain
3) Euro 2012 Finals Kiev
Italy lost 4-0 to Spain
Key battle - Andres Iniesta vs Daniele de Rossi
Both Iniesta and De Rossi were arguably the best players for their respective nations at the Euro 2012 tournament. Four years later, both are now considered veterans of the team at 32-years of age.
For De Rossi, he is forced to become the midfield leader in a team with injuries to key central figures Claudio Marchisio and Marco Verratti. Italy will need all of his experience and industry as Antonio Conte’s men will look to contain La Roja and allow them to enjoy majority of possession.
The Azzurri will no doubt be watchful ofAndres Iniesta. The Barcelona man was at the top of his game during Spain’s winning run in 2012, and still remains his side’s most valuable midfielder.
Based on current performance, both team are consistence. But for tonight match, I predict Italy will go through based on their strong in defence and their ability to change the tempo from slow-slow to quick-quick-slow strategy.
Italy 1 Spain 0
Italy vs Spain
Round of 16
Stade de France, Saint Denis
Kick-off 5pm (12am Malaysian time)