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Confederations Cup

Spain vs Italy, Confederations Cup Semi-Final: Preview

The second semi-final is an all-European affair, with reigning world champions Spain taking on Italy, the runners-up at UEFA Euro 2012. This match is also a re-run of last year’s continental final, which ended in victory for Spain.

Italy have vowed to use their imagination in the semi-final against the world and European champions, but Spain were already favorites before the Italy squad had been struck with injury problems.

Italy will be without their top goalscorer of the competition – Mario Balotelli and right-back Ignazio Abate at the Fortaleza’s Estadio Castelao.

Italian media reports suggest the former Florientina manager will deploy a compact 3-5-2 formation, with an all-Juventus back three of Giorgio Chiellini, Leandro Bonucci and Andrea Barzagli.

The system will be an attempt to stop Spain from holding the majority of possession throughout the match, and Spain defender Sergio Ramos remains wary of the Italy threat.

“Italy have a very strong competitive mentality and have always shown that, despite their last result against us.”

Spain have scored the most goals in the FIFA Confederations Cup 2013 with a tally of 15, seven goals more than their opponents despite playing the same amount of games.

Fernando Torres remains top goalscorer in the competition so far, scoring five goals. Spain team-mate David Villa has scored three goals and will be pushing Torres for the golden boot.

For viewers in the United States, Spain against Italy will be televised live on ESPN and WatchESPN today at 2:30pm ET.

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