Italy has made it to Wembley, and no matter what happens over the next 90 or 180 (or however much extra time there may be), this is where the Azzurri’s Euro 2020 run will end. They want it to end in the same kind of context as we do — celebrating winning the whole damn thing in front of however many fans are at Wembley come this weekend.
But to get the chance to have those celebrations, business needs to be taken care of tonight.
And for the small but mighty Juventus contingent on the Italy roster, it means having to both line up against one of their buddies and then go out and try to beat the team that he’s on.
It is an Italy-Spain matchup that we’ve seen plenty of times before in the last couple of Euros. Some of those games have turned out to be quite enjoyable. Other ones ... not so much. This one, however, comes at a time where Italy is very much the better team. Or at least the most in-form team going at the Euros as we head into the semifinals at Wembley. And while Alvaro Morata and Spain continue to be a mixed bag that ultimately gets the result they need, Italy only continues to impress with each passing round.
If Italy continues to play like they have been for much of this tournament, then a second game at Wembley this week will almost certainly be in the cards. And with how they are playing, it’s hard to see somebody who has been as consistent as this Spain side completely slowing the Azzurri down.
But with a midfield battle that is going to be one of the best this tournament has to offer, nothing is truly guaranteed no matter how well Italy is playing over the last couple of weeks.
That is why we watch. And we will certainly be watching this one.
When: 9 p.m. in Italy and across Europe; 8 p.m. local time in the United Kingdom; 3 p.m. on the East Coast; 12 p.m. on the West Coast
Where: Wembley Stadium, London, England
Italy starting XI: Donnarumma; Di Lorenzo, Bonucci, Chiellini, Emerson Palmieri; Barella, Jorginho, Verratti; Chiesa, Immobile, Insigne
Italy bench: Sirigu, Meret, Locatelli, Belotti, Berardi, Pessina, Acerbi, Cristante, Bernardeschi, Bastoni, Florenzi, Toloi
Spain starting XI: Unai Simon; Azpilicueta, Eric Garcia, Laporte, Jordi Alba; Koke, Busquets, Pedri; Ferran Torres, Oyarzabal, Dani Olmo
Spain bench: De Gea, Sanchez, Diego Llorente, Pau Torres, Marcos Llorente, Morata, Gerard Moreno, Thiago Alcantara, Gaya, Rodri, Fabian Ruiz, Traore
HOW TO WATCH
Television: ESPN, TUDN USA, Univision (United States); TSN1, TSN3, TSN4, TVA Sports (Canada); BBC One (United Kingdom); Sky Sport Uno, Sky Sport Football, RAI 1 (Italy)
Online/mobile: ESPN+, fuboTV, TUDN.com, TUDN app, Univision NOW (United States); TSN.ca, TSN app (Canada); BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport Web (United Kingdom); RaiPlay, SKY Go Italia, NOW TV (Italy)
Other live viewing options can be found here, and as always, you can also follow along with us live and all the stupid things we say on Twitter. If you haven’t already, join the community on Black & White & Read All Over, and join in the discussion below.