The semi-finalists for Euro 2020 have now been confirmed, with one of Italy, Spain, England or Denmark set to be crowned European champions at Wembley on July 11th.
The quarter-finals had a lot to live up to following a thrilling first knockout round, but they did not disappoint, with 10 goals, one penalty shootout and countless drama being thrown up across the four matches.
Now we are down to the final four teams, with Italy and Spain set to meet in the first semi-final on Tuesday before England and Denmark lock horns 24 hours later, but with both matches taking place at Wembley, which teams will go the extra step and make it through to the final?
Azzurri Remain Europe’s Form Team
It is hard to believe that Italy did not even qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, as the Azzurri have been on an incredible run of form, with Friday’s quarter-final victory over the world’s top-ranked side Belgium extending their unbeaten run to an unprecedented 32 matches.
Roberto Mancini’s side have also now won 13 games on the spin, while their 2-1 victory over Belgium in Munich answered any doubts people may have had regarding whether they could beat the best teams in the competition.
There is certainly a real togetherness within this Italy squad and they are priced at
11/5 to go on and clinch Euro glory for the first time since 1968.
First, the Azzurri must get past familiar foes Spain, with the two teams set to meet at the Euros for the fourth successive tournament, with Italy having claimed a 2-0 victory when they clashed in the round of 16 five years ago.
Spain Happy to Go Under the Radar
Not many people were considering Spain as being among the favourites for Euro glory at the start of the tournament, with a disrupted build-up being followed by draws against Sweden and Poland in their opening two group games.
However, Luis Enrique’s side have come alive since putting five past Slovakia in their final group fixture and although they have not enjoyed an unbeaten run as long as Italy’s, they have still avoided defeat for an impressive 13 games.
Spain did need a penalty shootout to overcome Switzerland in the quarter-finals and there are still question marks regarding La Roja at both ends of the pitch, which may be reflected in their
5/2 pricing to be crowned European champions for a record fourth time.
Enrique’s side have an impressive record against Italy to draw upon, losing just one of the last eight meetings, a run that includes the 3-0 victory they claimed when the two nations last met in World Cup qualifying back in 2017.
England Appear to Be Justifying Favourites Tag
England are the
6/4 favourites to go on and clinch European Championship glory for the first time, a tag that would have seemed optimistic during their underwhelming group stage campaign, but the Three Lions have come alive since the knockout stages began.
It was difficult to see how Gareth Southgate’s side could improve upon their victory over Germany in the Round of 16, but that is exactly what happened in the quarter-finals as they thrashed Ukraine 4-0.
Not only was that England’s biggest ever victory at a Euros, but it is also the largest win they have achieved in the knockout stages of a major international competition.
England have also become the first team to start a European Championship campaign with five consecutive clean sheets, while the return to form of captain Harry Kane, who struck twice against Ukraine, can also be considered a huge positive.
With home advantage for the rest of the tournament, England certainly look well placed to end their 55-year wait for major tournament glory, with only Denmark standing in their way of a place in the final.
Danes Riding Emotional Wave
Denmark have been on an emotional rollercoaster at the Euros, with the collapse of talisman Christian Eriksen during their opening group game against Finland acting as inspiration for not only the team but the entire nation.
Kasper Hjulmand’s side became the first nation in European Championship history to reach the knockout stages after losing their opening two group games and they have not looked back since.
While their last-16 thrashing of Wales proved emphatic, their 2-1 victory over the Czech Republic in the quarter-finals showed they can win in a variety of ways.
The Danes have goals all over the pitch, with Kasper Dolberg, Martin Braithwaite, Mikkel Damsgaard and Yussuf Poulsen all catching the eye in the final third.
Most neutrals may well be rooting for Denmark, but they are the
9/1 outsiders to lift the trophy, while a repeat of their Euro 92 triumph would surely rank as one of the greatest achievements in the tournament’s history.
*All odds correct at time of writing