Italy vs Spain in the UEFA Nations League semi-finals – all you need to know.
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Italy take on Spain in the UEFA Nations League semi-final in Milan on Wednesday 6 October at 20:45 CET.Italy vs Spain: click for live coverage
What's the story?
Plenty has happened since these sides booked their places at the finals thanks to victories in their climactic group matches last November – with both opening up daylight at the top of their qualifying sections for the FIFA World Cup next year.
However, it was UEFA EURO 2020 that dominated the agenda this past summer, not least when these teams met in a pulsating semi-final. Italy eventually came through 4-2 on penalties after a 1-1 draw at Wembley Stadium, which was arguably their sternest test as the Azzurri went on to lift the trophy.
"I can humbly say that they were the only team where, had they beaten us, there would have been nothing we could say because they controlled the game, they created chances and made us suffer," said midfielder Jorginho of July's close encounter. Can La Roja repeat their dominance but turn it into success at these finals?
Where to watch the game on TV
Italy: Donnarumma; Di Lorenzo, Bonucci, Chiellini, Emerson Palmieri; Barella, Jorginho, Verratti; Chiesa, Insigne, Pellegrini
Spain: Unai Simón; Azpilicueta, Laporte, Pau Torres, Reguilón; Koke, Busquets, Fornals; Ferran Torres, Oyarzabal, Sarabia
Paolo Menicucci, Italy reporter: The UEFA EURO 2020 semi-final was an important lesson for Mancini and the Azzurri, as Spain were the only team at the finals to prevent them playing their usual game. The Italy coach has had a few months to find an antidote to Spain's style, but has lost Ciro Immobile and Andrea Belotti in attack. Youngsters Giacomo Raspadori and Moise Kean shone in recent qualifiers and Federico Chiesa is in fantastic form.
Graham Hunter, Spain reporter: Spain were a match for Italy during their epic EURO 2020 semi-final, and might have reached the final. However, ahead of this rematch, La Roja are badly hamstrung. No Gerard Moreno, no Álvaro Morata, no Jordi Alba, no Pedri, no Dani Olmo; the injury list goes on. Luis Enrique must use wit and intuition to find the right XI from his, admittedly, still talented squad to produce that daring, passing, possession-based football that the European champions found so indigestible in July.
View from the camps
Roberto Mancini, Italy coach: "We have a few problems in attack because we miss the strikers we had at EURO [Immobile and Belotti] due to injuries. We have two young strikers here in Raspadori and Kean, let's see how we will use them. Spain played their best game of the EURO against us. They caused a lot of problems with their possession but they're masters in that sense. We struggled even if the teams had a similar number of chances. We have to play a great game."
Luis Enrique, Spain coach: "It's an immense pleasure to be back in Italy. I had a wonderful year here as coach of Roma - I love the food, the coffee, the language, the sunshine, at least from Rome southwards, and I think that these two national teams are very alike. My plan, as always, is to go for it from the beginning and to play with ambition. There are lots of players who've not been able to join us and I'm sorry for them but we are here with a cracking squad."
Form guide (most recent first)
Spain: WWLDDWDownload the UEFA Nations League app