The League of Nations
Giant duels in the Nations League semi-finals
The “Fourth Final” of the Nations League begins on Wednesday in Italy. There are well-known semi-finals: Italy plays against Spain, and Belgium meets France.
As Switzerland prepares for its World Cup qualifiers against Northern Ireland and Lithuania, the Nations League winning group’s “Fourth Final” will be held in Milan and Turin. There will be a new version of the EM semi-finals in 2021 between Italy and Spain and the semi-finals of the World Cup in 2018 between Belgium and France. Two duels that will make every football fan’s tongue tick. Four nations play the tournament with different intentions.
Spain without penalty kicks, Italy without real estate
After the bitter end of the penalty shootout against Italy, the Spaniards are eager for revenge in the country of the European champions themselves, and Spain coach Luis Enrique said about this: “I don’t need more motivation.” And the wounded did not include Alvaro Morata and Dani Olmo, who could not use penalty kicks at that time. As in the European Championship, there is no “royal” from Madrid in the team, crisis-torn Barcelona has four players: Eric Garcia, Sergio Busquets, Sergi Roberto and Gavi. Furia Roja could not convince in his first appearance after the European Championship: against Sweden he suffered a setback with a 1:2 defeat in the World Cup qualifiers.
For Italy, a small tournament at home means a show. Led by the old guard around Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini and Europe’s best soccer player Jorginho, “Squadra Azzurra” wants to increase his world record of 37 games unbeaten. As in La Liga, Federico Chiesa, Domenico Berardi, Federico Bernardeschi and Lorenzo Insigne will be responsible for the goals, while Lazio striker Ciro Immobile missed the Italians with a thigh injury.
Reparations for Belgium and France
After France’s much-criticized elimination by Switzerland and another disappointing appearance in a tournament for Belgium, both want to make up for it by winning the Nations League. In addition, the “Red Devils” around Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku could return the favor for the semi-final defeat at the 2018 World Cup when they had to admit defeat to their long-term rival France only 0:1.
At Equipe Tricolor, Didier Deschamps has to prove that he is still the right coach for the French. After the 2018 World Cup title, the team has not been able to build on its success and is following up on high expectations. The embodiment of this is Kylian Mbappe, who should shine again after his poor performance at the European Championships in the national costume. Together with Karim Benzema, who has already scored 16 goals in the Spanish League, he is supposed to make the European Championship memorable in the “Final 4”.
Final 4 tournament method
As in 2019, when Switzerland failed in the semi-finals against Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal, the winner of the “Final 4” tournament will be decided in two matches: the two semi-final winners meet in a final on Sunday, the other places meeting will be on the same day Determine the loser in a mini final. The Nations League winner has not yet qualified for the World Cup.