Holders wary of Italians



June 27, 2016
Holders wary of Italians

THREAT: Threat: Juventus Alvaro Morata. CREDIT: Sourced

Spain and Italy resume their old rivalry in a mouthwatering Euro 2016 quarterfinal clash tonight.

Holders Spain, thanks to their crushing 4-0 victory over the Azzurri in the Euro 2012 final in Kiev, started their two-tournament reign with last-eight penalty shootout over the Italians in the 2008 edition.

But after defeats for both sides in their final group matches here in France, there is no clear favourite this time around.

The 2006 World Cup winners Italy want to break the dominance of the Spanish, who are looking for a third straight continental triumph.

Azzurri defender Giorgio Chiellini says: “Spain have been our bogey team since 2008 which is when their winning cycle began.”

The four-time world champions impressed with an opening 2-0 win over fancied Belgium and went on to beat Sweden 1-0 before looking their age in a 1-0 defeat by Ireland.

And coach Antonio Conte says: “We need to have the same enthusiasm to face a team like Spain that we had when we approached Belgium, who also seemed stronger than us.”

Conte and his all Juventus defence could do a number on Spain’s three-goal ace Alvaro Morata, who will rejoin real Madrid after two successful seasons with the Italians giants.

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