Spain and Italy face each other in the most anticipated duel of the Euro so far

DÜSSELDORF.- The defending champion Italy will face this Thursday Spain in one of the most anticipated duels of Euro 2024. The Iberians lead Group B above the blues on goal difference, this after both won their opening duels of the tournament. Croatia and Albania are the other two teams in the group.

This is what you need to know about the crash:


—Italy survived a scare against Albania when Nedim Bajrami scored after 23 seconds — the fastest goal in Euro history. The comeback to win 2-1 avoided embarrassment for Luciano Spalletti’s team.

—Spain did not have the same concern after dominating the 3-0 victory against Croatia, a World Cup semi-finalist.

—Italy beat Spain on penalties in the semifinals of the last Euro after drawing 1-1 until extra time at Wembley Stadium. The team led by Roberto Mancini at the time also needed penalties to beat England in the final.

—The preview of the last match in Gelsenkirchen—between Serbia and England—was overshadowed by concern about fan violence. Eight people were temporarily detained after a fight between followers. Before this duel there is less security concern.


—Spanish defender Aymeric Laporte returned to training with the team after a muscle problem.

—The Italian press began to speculate that Spalletti could make changes before the duel against Spain and that Gianluca Mancini and Bryan Cristante could possibly start.


—This is the fifth consecutive edition of the Euro that Spain and Italy face each other, both have two victories each before Thursday’s duel.

—With 46% possession against Croatia, Spain was unable to control the ball for the first time in 136 competitive matches.

—Italy seeks to equal the record with a third title in the European Championship. Spain and Germany are the only teams with three trophies. Italy could also become the second team to win back-to-back titles alongside Spain, which did so in 2008 and 2012.

—At 16 years and 338 days old, Lamine Yamal of Spain is the youngest player to have played in a European Championship match in the 3-0 victory against Croatia.