Euro u21 2013 Final : Italy v Spain
In a repeat of the Euro 2012 final, Spain take on Italy in the Euro 2013 u21 final in Jerusalem on Tuesday evening. The Spanish will be looking to defend their title while the Azzurrini will be searching for a record 6th u21 title.
Following a dogged and brave performance in overcoming Netherlands in the semi-finals the Italians will be faced with an even tougher assignment in the final. While both sides are unbeaten in the tournament, the Spanish have a 100% record and have not conceded a single goal as yet.
Players to Watch
Spain – Isco
The Malaga playmaker who was the centre of huge transfer speculation leading into the tournament has even further enhanced his stock price. Isco has been instrumental to Spain’s success with a number of excellent performances. He has picked up two goals thus far including an excellent strike against Norway in the semi’s. Besides his goal scoring abilities it has been his link up play with Asier Illarramendi and Barcelona’s Thiago Alcantara that has been the feature of Spain’s play. Isco provides La Rojita’s with creativity and attacking penetration and the Azzurrini will have their hands full in trying to nullify his threat.
Spain – Alvaro Morrata
Morrata is the tournaments leading marksmen having scored in each of Spain’s games despite not being a regular starter. With 4 goals in the competition, Morrata is fast becoming one of the hottest young forwards in Europe. Having already forced his way into the Real Madrid first team squad, the 20 year old featured in 12 league games this season scoring two goals. Combining excellent movement and positioning, Morrata combines this with ruthless finishing.
Italy – Lorenzo Insigne
Insigne kicked off his tournament in excellent fashion with a stunning free-kick earning Italy victory against England in match day one. However the Napoli man suffered an ankle injury against Israel which threatened to derail his competition. The diminutive attacking midfielder returned to action in the semi-final against Netherlands and provided the assist for Fabio Borini’s match winning goal. Insigne is a versatile player who has already represented Italy on full International level. He adds flair and unpredictability to the Azzurrini attack and the Italians will be hoping he can unlock the Spanish defence for the first time this tournament.
Italy – Giulio Donati
Spain is widely expected to control the majority of possession and Italy will require a tough defensive display much in the same manner as against Netherlands. While Spain has not conceded thus far, Italy have only conceded one goal from the penalty spot in the tournament. Displaying a high work ethic and contributing to Italy’s defensive organisation has been right back Giulio Donati. The FC Internazionale player was particularly brilliant against Netherlands putting his body on the line on countless occasions. Donati displays tough tackling as well as excellent tactical awareness and positioning.
Current Match Update: At the halftime interval Italy trail Spain by a score of 1-3. Goalscorers – Spain T. Alcantara (6′,32′,38′), Italy C. Immobile(10′)