Euro 2020 Bet Of The Day: Ciro Can Be The Hero
Enzo previews and gives his best bets for the first Euro 2020 semi-final where Italy take on Spain in Wembley Arena
Italy v Spain Tue 6 June 20:00 BST
Italy disposed of Belgium 2-1 on Friday night to book their place in the semi-finals. Their high pressing, quick passing and rugged defending proved too much for the Belgians who couldn’t cope with the pace and relentlessness of the Azzurri attacks. The damage was done in the first half when Barella smashed home from inside the area and Insigne followed up with a superb curling strike from the edge of the box. Lukaku’s penalty on the stroke of half-time gave Belgium hope but they couldn’t push on and the Italian defence limited them to half-chances.
Leonardo Spinazzola’s injury was the only stain on what was an otherwise perfect night for Italy. The Roma fullback ruptured his Achilles tendon and will be unavailable for semi final. One of the standout performers of the tournament, his tireless running was key to the high press and he will be a big loss. Chelsea’s Emerson Palmieri will be his likely replacement.
Thanks to a shootout victory over the plucky Swiss, the Spanish stumbled into the semis after what was one of the worst penalty taking displays at a major tournament. Throughout the first 90mins, Spain were their usual selves producing lots of pretty passes but ultimately creating very little. The breakthrough came from a tame Jordi Alba shot that was wickedly deflected past Yann Sommer. Powercube Shaqiri then equalised mid-way through the second half before Freuler saw red leaving the Swiss with 10 men for the final 15 mins. In extra time Spain dominated the visibly tired Swiss but a series of impotent efforts couldn’t break the deadlock. Switzerland’s couldn’t repeat their penalty spot heroics and crashed out after missing three of their four spot kicks.
Not the Spain of old
I said in our preview that I find the way Spain plays boring and extremely irritating. The endless passing with no end product is very frustrating to watch. At least with the previous generation of Spanish players you could expect a goal after the 105th consecutive pass but the current squad doesn’t have the guile or finesse of the 2010 crop . Lets not forget that Spain have only beaten Slovakia in regulation time and have drawn the remaining four fixtures.
La Roja have struggled to breakdown opponents that can defend. Sweden held them to a scoreless draw, they were fortunate to find the net against a disciplined Switzerland side and only managed to put one past a weak Poland. Morata is no David Villa and Pedri/Koke are most definitely not Xavi/Iniesta so I can’t see them posing much of a threat to Bonucci and Chiellini.
Not only are Spain rather blunt in attack, the defence is average at best. They have conceded in 3/5 of games at Euro 2020 including three against Croatia. In contrast, Italy have only failed to find the net once in normal time and have averaged 2+ goals per game. They have also yet to concede from open play.
If the Azzurri can maintain the same level of intensity they showed against Belgium they should easily progress to the final. Italy win @ 6/4 is a no brainer and my bet of the day. I am also going to put a small stake on Italy – 1 @ 9/2. It may be hubris but I just think that Italy are the superior side in every area of the park. Providing they don’t have an off-day I think this could get embarrassing for the Spanish.
Ciro to be the hero
Immobile started Euro 2020 with a bang, scoring in the opening two games. Since then the goals have dried up for Ciro so by the law of averages he is due one soon. Also, Italy have yet to be awarded a penalty at the tournament despite 16 having already been dished out. Again, by the law of averages, one is coming and Ciro is usually the man to hammer them home. 21/10 for Ciro Immobile to score anytime is a very reasonable price and well worth a punt.
Italy win @ 6/4
Ciro Immobile Anytime Goalscorer @ 21/10
Italy – 1 @ 9/2