Euro 2016; Spain vs Italy… Live
Good afternoon, everybody, and welcome to the first of our two matches from Euro 2016 today, perhaps the most keenly awaited of all of these second round matches. This is, of course, a repeat of the final of four years ago, when Spain demolished Italy with a performance that was probably the peak of that team’s powers. In 2016, however, Spain are probably not quite as strong as that team was and predicting an easy victory for them isn’t necessarily a foregone conclusion, and that’s before we even move onto the question of why these two teams are playing each other so early in the competition in the first place.
Italy started the tournament with possibly the most comprehensively excellent performance of any team in the first round of group matches, albeit one that came against a Belgium team that was playing as though they’d only just met each other. They have all the experience in the world, but their defeat at the hands of Ireland in their final group match – although a result that came about with a team very different to that which will be starting this evening – showed up potential frailties in the depth of their squad. Can they pick up where they left off against Belgium and Sweden?
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