The Spain vs Italy Confederations Cup semifinal will take place this Thursday, June 27, 2013 (12:00 PM Pacific) at the Estadio Castelao in Fortaleza. This Confederations Cup semifinals match-up has the happy coincidence of featuring a rematch between the two teams that disputed the Euro 2012 final, which Spain won 4-0. Spain is once again the favorite coming into this encounter; the series of injuries to the Italian squad have greatly undermined the team’s chances.
Spain qualified to the semifinal by coming in first place of Group B, where it won all three matches, scored 15 goals, and allowed just 1. Most importantly, Spain accomplished all of this while playing no where near its full capacity.
Against Uruguay, the Spaniards backed off after the 2-0 lead, and still ended with the 2-1 victory. Against Tahiti, Spain used all subs, and won 10-0 (though, that’s not much of an accomplishment). Finally, against the Nigerians, Spain faced a determined opponent that disrupted its possession-heavy playing style. Spain was still able to break the Nigerians down and win 3-0.
Spain demonstrated in Group play why it is the #1 ranked team in the world, defeating the Oceania, South America, and African champions without any complications. Going into the Spain vs Italy semifinal match, La Furia Roja is a big favorite.
Italy didn’t have as pleasant a time as Spain did in group play.The azzurri started off with a 2-1 win over Mexico, only earning the 3 points thanks to a late goal from Balotelli. Against Japan, the Italians were arguably the worst team, but, nonetheless, came out with an epic 4-3 victory. In the final group match against Brazil, Italy rested several starters and lost to the host nation 4-2.
Other than worrying about facing the best national team in the world, Italy also has to be concerned about losing some of its key players to injury. Mario Balotelli and Ignazio Abate are out for the remainder of the tournament, and Andrea Pirlo might be unavailable for the Spain vs Italy match as well.
With Italy having several key players out of commission, and Spain playing at such a high level, it’s looking as though Spain will move on to face Brazil in the Confederations Cup 2013 final.
Spain vs Italy Prediction
This match should end in favor of the Spaniards. Mario Balotelli is a fantastic player that can generate scoring opportunities out of nothing (see his goal against Mexico), and his loss is a huge hit for Italian chances. Furthermore, Spain has been playing at such a high level, that an Italian squad which has been playing just a touch above mediocre, should not prove to be a tough obstacle for La Furia Roja.
The Spain vs Italy match will end in a 2-0 victory for Spain, which will move on to face Brazil in the final of the Confederations Cup 2013.
Spain vs Italy Television
The Spain vs Italy match will be televised on ESPN & Univision this Thursday, June 27, 2013 at 12:00 PM Pacific.