After a thrilling quarter-final stage, now we’re left with only 4 countries. The 1st semifinal is between Italy and Spain and the 2nd semifinal is between England and Denmark.
Italy in the quarterfinals, defeated world no.1 Belgium by the margin of 2-1. We could see how balanced this Italian side is. All the players have come well under Roberto Mancini. He has built a very strong and balanced side. They were unbeaten in the group stages and also didn’t concede a single goal until the Round of 16. This Italian side broke their national record of being unbeaten in 31 games and also not conceding for more than 10 thousand minutes. Italy has the best defence in the tournament. This team has a perfect mixture of youth and veterans. Italy’s back 4 of Bonucci, Chellini, Di Lorenzo and Spinnazzola are not only defending but also attacking and building up from the back. Unfortunately, Spinnazzola suffered an Achilles injury which saw him out of the tournament. Even their midfield has been solid with the likes of Jorginho, Verratti, Barella, Locatelli and many more. Their only problem is their finishing in the final 3rd. their main striker Immobile needs to score more and even their RW Berrardi needs to find some goals.
On the other hand, Spain defeated Switzerland on penalties. Luis Enrique has shown much trust in Unai Simon their goalkeeper by keeping De Gea on the bench. Many questioned Luis Enrique on his Squad Selection but lately, he has shown what this squad can do by reaching the semifinal of the Euros. Like Mancini, Enrique has shown trust in the youngsters like 18 y/o Pedri Gonzalez, Dani Olmo, Ferran Torres, Pau Torres, Oyarzabal and many many more… Their defence has been a little bit shaky as they are conceding a lot of late goals even after scoring first. Many questioned Morata on his finishing but he silenced his doubters by scoring a goal in extra time against Croatia which saw Spain through the Round of 16 for the first time after failing to go through in the previous international tournaments. Like Italy, Spain’s midfield is also very balanced with the likes of Pedri, their Captain Busquets, Thiago Alcantara, Rodri, Fabian Ruiz, Koke and Marcos Llorente who can also play a right back. Their strength is in the wings, where players like Pablo Sarabia, Ferran Torres, Cezar Azplicuetta can just put the cross in the box for Alvaro Morata, Gerrard Moreno to score. Now let’s see what happens, Italy can win it in extra time or Spain can win on penalties!!!
Denmark’s progression has been truly remarkable, aside from the trauma of Eriksen’s on-field collapse during their opening game against Finland. Kasper Hjuland’s team lost their first two matches and needed a big win against Russia to squeeze into the knockout stages. But from there on, the Danes thrashed Wales 4-0 and defeated the Czech Republic 2-1 in the quarterfinal to reach the final 4. Their main strength lies in the midfield and their defence too. They have Leaders like Hjoberg, Vestergaard, Christensen, their captain Kjaer. They are well-organised, tight-knit, solid and with a strong spine starting from their goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel. If they can fuse their togetherness with the quality they have and big-game performances from Dolberg, Braithwaite, Delaney, they can win it. Here, England has been flawless in their games by scoring 8 goals and conceding none. They are the only team not to concede a single goal till now. Their defence consisting of Maguire, John Stones, Luke Shaw and Reece James has been rock – solid and not only their strikers but even their defenders are scoring goals. Many also started doubting England captain Harry Kane because he neither had many assists nor he was scoring any. But then, the no.10 in the squad Raheem Sterling showed his class. He scored goals against the mighty Germany and Croatia where they won both of their matches. In the quarterfinals, they thrashed Ukraine by 4 goals to zero.
This will also be an interesting match-up in Wembley and we’ll see if it’s coming home or England are going home….