Euro 2020 Daily Report: Semi-finals can follow high scoring trend

Spain captain Sergio Busquets
Sergio Busquets helped Spain win the Euros in 2008 and 2012

Who will be the first team through to Sunday's Euro 2020 final? Leading scorers Spain or a rejuvenated Italy? Here's how the key markets are looking.

"Of the last 18 semi-finals, both teams to score has paid out 10 times. Italy and Spain both to score in tonight's first semi-final can be backed at 2.01/1 on the exchange."

Stats suggest extra-time could be on the cards

We are down to the final four nations at this summer's Euro 2020. We were made to wait 12 months for the tournament, but the competition has served up a festival of football across Europe with a record number of goals scored.

Since and including the tournament was revamped and expanded from just four teams in 1980, this year's tournament has averaged more goals per game than any other European Championship tournament since. In 2000, when France won the second of their two titles, an average 2.74 goals were scored per match.

This year's tournament has seen a total 135 goals scored in the 48 matches played so far. That works out to be an average of 2.82 per game which is the highest of the last 11 tournaments played.

Of the last 18 semi-finals contested at the European Championships, both teams to score has paid out 10 times. Italy and Spain both to score in tonight's first semi-final can be backed at 2.01/1 on the exchange.

Extra-time has been required nine times since and including 1984 with the most recent occurrence happening in Donetsk nine years ago when Portugal and Spain failed to score in 120 minutes before Sergio Busquets and co reached the final after a penalty shootout.

England are appearing in their second Euros semi-final since 1968 and their last appearance in the final four ended in a penalty shootout when they were knocked out by Germany in Euro 1996. Denmark are through to their fourth semi-final and their first since 1992 when the Danes beat the Netherlands in a shootout to reach the final which they won.

Neither side has been taken to extra-time this summer, could this be the first time? England are 15/2 to win in extra-time while Denmark are 20/1 to win after 120 minutes.

Spain hope to show their good side

What are we to make of Spain? Are they as good as the team that beat Slovakia 5-0 or are they an average side that has blown hot and cold throughout the tournament? Slovakia were poor when they faced Spain and if Switzerland had a better penalty technique, it could be the Swiss taking on Italy at Wembley.

Luis Enrique - 1280.jpg

Spain are the only semi-finalists who have had to come from behind to win a match at Euro 2020. They conceded an unfortunate own goal to give Croatia a 20th minute lead, before the Spanish rallied to win a remarkable match in Copenhagen. Luis Enrique's side are 14/1 to win this game from a losing position.

Supporters of La Roja will hope fatigue does not play a part in this semi-final. Spain's two knockout games this summer have gone to extra-time and the 510 minutes of football compared to Italy's 480 minutes could play a part. Spain are 11/1 to win in extra-time and 8/1 to win their second successive match on penalties.

Spain are the sixth team to have won two matches that have gone to extra-time in the same European Championship tournament. The previous five went on to win the trophy.

Alvaro Morata has had a mixed tournament. He and his family received death threats earlier in the tournament, but he is Spain's leading scorer at Euro 2020 with two goals. It should be more, with a string of missed opportunities. Eight of his 14 attempts have been on target but haven't been good enough to beat the keeper. Morata is 3.211/5 on the exchange to be Spain's first goalscorer.

Sergio Busquets missed Spain's opening two matches because of Covid, but he has made up for lost time winning UEFA's Star Player in two of the three matches he has played. Busquets is 19/1 to pick up his third man of the match award.

Spain lead the tournament with 67.2% possession and they will fancy their chances of keeping the ball on the ground and passing their way through an ageing Italian defence. If Spain launches high balls into the box, the Italians will relish that.

New version of Italy can go all the way

Remember the days when Italy were a boring team to watch and their main objective at tournaments was to win every game 1-0? Well, they've kept their defensive stubbornness and added a new dimension to their game at the other end of the pitch. They now pose a threat in front of goal which makes a lethal combination, especially at a major tournament.

No team has created more chances at Euro 2020 than Roberto Mancini's Italians who have created 101 chances, converting 11 of them. With Ciro Immobile and Lorenzo Insigne leading the line, they score a goal every nine opportunities and if they can carve out some decent chances, the Azzurri will be confident of finding the back of the net.

Immobile and Insigne are two of four Italians to have scored twice at Euro 2020. Immobile is 13/10 to have two or more shots on target while Insigne is 23/10 to be on target with at least two efforts.

Italy won all three of their group games to nil, but Spain are a greater challenge than Turkey, Switzerland and Wales were. Italy will snap your hand off for a boring 1-0 win like the old days and Mancini's side are 4.1 on the exchange to win to nil.

Italy stat 060721.png

When Nicolo Barella fired Italy into a 1-0 lead against Belgium in Friday's quarter-final, it was the fifth successive match at the Euros in which Italy had scored the first goal. The Italians are 5/6 to open the scoring against the Spaniards and maintain their record of never trailing at any stage of the tournament to date.

Three of Italy's five matches at Euro 2020 have seen over 2.5 goals scored while two of Spain's last three matches have seen over 2.5 goals netted. Over 2.5 goals can be backed at 2.3611/8 on the exchange.

Read Mark O'Haire's preview and tips for Italy v Spain here

Will Southgate tinker once again?

The last time Gareth Southgate resisted the temptation to change his starting line-up was three years ago when he submitted his team for England's World Cup semi-final against Croatia. Since then, Southgate has made at least one change to his line-up ever since.

Gareth Southgate - 1280 (2).jpg

The manager has been praised for his calls throughout Euro 2020 and he acknowledged failure to get things right would see him out of a job. What team will he name for the Three Lions' second semi-final in successive major tournaments?

Southgate knows that if England lose to Denmark, it will be largely be down to the side he picked and the tactics deployed. England can be backed at 1.774/5 on the exchange to beat Denmark and reach their first ever European Championship final.

England are the first side in European Championship history to score three headed goals in a single match.

Two of Harry Kane's three goals at Euro 2020 have been headers and the Tottenham forward is 17/2 to add another headed goal to his collection this summer.

With both semi-finals and the final being held at Wembley, England remain favourites at 2.6413/8 on the exchange to win Euro 2020. If they can win their next two games, it will end 55 years of hurt since winning the 1966 World Cup and we can all welcome football home.

Get a £5 Free Bet on Multiples - Every Day!

Place £20 worth of Multiples or Bet Builders over the course of a day, and, after the bets have settled, you'll get a free £5 bet to use on Multiples or Bet Builders. Bets must settle before 23:59 on the day they're placed. No opt-in required, T&Cs apply.

Read in-depth verdicts from our expert betting writers in our mega team-by-team guide

Get a Free £/€20 Exchange Bet

  • Join Now - Open account using promo code VAL225
  • Bet - Place a £/€20 Bet on the Exchange
  • Earn We'll Refund You £/€20 If the Bet Loses
Bet now

T&Cs apply.

Discover the latest articles

Read past articles