Italy against Spain on Wednesday in Milan and France against Belgium a day later in Turin: the semi-finals of the League of Nations this week propose two duels of historic teams with the flavor of revenge.
At the San Siro stadium, the ‘Azzurra’, current European champions, meet again with a Spain that they eliminated in the semifinals of the European Championship at Wembley last July (1-1; 4-2 in penalties).
In Euro-2016, Spain had already lost in the round of 16 against the ‘Nazionale’ (2-0), four years after their triumph (4-0) in the final of Euro-2012 against the same rival.
Italian coach Roberto Mancini will be without the injured Ciro Immobile (Lazio), co-leader of the Serie A scorers table, who was replaced in the group by Moise Kean (Juventus Turin).
Only the latter and Lorenzo Pellegrini (AS Roma) did not contest the Eurocup among the 23 players summoned by Italy.
On the part of ‘La Roja’, Luis Enrique has rejuvenated his team even more, with the inclusion of Barça players Gavi, 17, and Pedri, 18 years old.
Bryan Gil (Tottenham), 20, and Yeremi Pino (Villarreal), 18, are also in a group that once again has no Real Madrid player.
For the other match of this ‘Final 4’, France-Belgium at Juventus Stadium, you have to go back a little further in time to find a trace of a duel to remember. Thursday’s clash is presented for the Belgians as a rematch of the semifinal of the last World Cup, in which the French, ultimately world champions, won 1-0.
Some subsequent statements by the ‘Red Devils’ did nothing but reinforce the rivalry between the teams of the two neighboring countries.
“We lose to a team that is no better than us,” goalkeeper Thibault Courtois lamented at the time. “I’d rather lose with this Belgium than win with this France,” Eden Hazard had assured.
After a disappointing Euro 2020, the teams led by Didier Deschamps and Roberto Martínez will try to resolve their differences in a less flashy framework, the League of Nations, a competition devised by UEFA to replace the litany of friendly matches.
France and Belgium, the best teams in the first round of this League of Nations, have already made sure to participate at least in the playoffs to the World Cup-2022 if they do not get their ticket at the end of the traditional qualifying phase.
To know the successor of Portugal, who won at home in the inaugural edition in 2019, we will have to wait for Sunday, the day of the final and the match for third place.
– Program of the final phase of the League of Nations, from Wednesday to Sunday in Turin and Milan, in Italy:
Wednesday, October 6:
1:45 PM from Peru: Italy – Spain, in Milan
Thursday, October 7:
1:45 PM from Peru: Belgium – France, in Turin
Sunday October 10:
(13h00 GMT) Match for third place, in Turin
1:45 p.m. from Peru: Final, in Milan
More in Andina:
Renato Tapia: “We have to try to win because we need it”? https://t.co/lTK9IlOT7G
?? The Celta de Vigo player arrived today at dawn and in the afternoon he joins practice. pic.twitter.com/vsvM40cdV0
– Andean Agency (@Agencia_Andina) October 4, 2021
(FIN) AFP / JSO
Posted on: 10/4/2021