Euro 2012 final, 2013 Under-21 final, Cofederations Cup semi-final. That’s the last meetings between the two sides, Spain looks like always the out-right winner but can Italy pull something off?
Italy will miss miss Milan due Mario Balotelli and Ignazio Abate as another team-mate Riccardo Montolivo is set to miss out to an Andrea Pirlo is a big doubt coming into the crucial game. Spain are injury free and coming with a big group stage where we saw them beat Tahiti 10-0, Uruguay 2-1 and Jordi Alba’s amazing performance as he hit two past Enyeama and Spain won 3-0 and they grabbed maximum points with goal difference of +14/
With Torres finally hitting form might guarentees him a starting place in the semi-final over the underforming Roberto Soldado as he prepares to pass Ronaldinho’s Confederations Cup record of scoring 9 goals in the competition, Torres is now standing in 8 goals so 2 goals from 2 games will be enough for the criticized striker, Spain are unbeaten for 28 competitive games with their last loss came against Switzerland in the World Cup 2010 (last friendly loss came against England in.
• Fernando Torres is currently the highest scoring player in the competition with five goals in three games.
• Spain scored the most goals in the tournament as they they got 10 past Tahiti.
• Italy won 10 times against Spain’s 9 in the previous meetings/
• The Azzurri have already improved upon their performance in the 2009 edition of the Confederations Cup where they were eliminated in the group stage.
• Italy have only defeated Spain once in their previous eight encounters. That triumph came August 2011 when goals from Riccardo Montolivo and Alberto Aquilani scored to secure a 2-1 win.
• Gianluigi Buffon will move to within four appearances of joining Fabio Cannavaro as the nation`s highest-capped player with 136 outings.
Andrea Pirlo’s importance: He is the only player in the Italy ranks that can deal with Spain’s pressing, setting Italy’s counter-attack, Vicente Del Bosque will obviously appoint a player to watch every step of the veteran midfielder but like we saw earlier this year as Juventus took over Chelsea in the Champions League group stages Oscar was the one to keep Pirlo to get balls and deliver them into dangerous positions but Pirlo got away from him but he will have a hard time coping against midfielders such as Inieste, Xavi and Bosquets, so if Spain wil shut his work space Italy won’t have a lot to fight with.
Possible Spain line-up: Spain, who left the 4-6-0 formation, played all their games with a 4-3-3 formations as the midfield three are all-Barcelona, Pique partners up with Ramos in the center of defene, Arbeloa and Alba as full backs. Roberto Soldado might loss his place to Fernando Torres as this tournament’s top scorer looks to replace the Valencia man as a lone stiker Silva and Pedro will provide him balls from the wings.
Casillas, Arbeloa, Pique, Ramos, Alba, Bosquets, Xavi, Iniesta, Pedro, Silva, Torres.
Possible Italy line-up: Italy must start with 3-5-2 formation, the same formation that led them to the Euro 2012 final where they lost to Spain, but something was pointing out in that loss in Kiev, Chiellini picked up a knock and Balzaretti (a full back) came into his place and Italy played in a 4-4-2 formation, Italy have to play with 3-5-2 formation to get the best out of their wing men Giaccherini and Maggio as they travel up and down the pitch.
Buffon, Bonucci, Barzagli, Chiellini, Pirlo, De Rossi, Marchisio, Giaccherini, Maggio, Giovinco.
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