Euro 2024 Semifinal: Spain v France preview

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Euro 2024 Mike Maignon and Theo Hernandez of France
Theo Hernandez of France celebrates with goalkeeper Mike Maignan of France after winning the UEFA EURO 2024 quarter-finals soccer match between France and Portugal, in Hamburg, Germany, 05 July 2024. EPA/ROBERT GHEMENT

UEFA Euro 2024 has reached the semifinal stage, with two potential thrillers on the card. First up is a classic meeting of Spain and France at the Allianz Arena in Munich on the evening of Tuesday 9 July.
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Match background

Spain’s path to the final four has seen them top Group B with a perfect record ahead of Italy, Croatia and Albania, before ending the fairytale run of Georgia with an emphatic 4-1 triumph in the round of 16. In the quarterfinals, La Furia Roja came up against a talented and determined Germany, but ultimately, they overcame the tournament hosts 2-1 after extra time – with Mikel Merino netting in the 119th minute to decide a great match. Luis de la Fuente’s side has played with a cohesion, aggression and control that has been a cut above any other team at the tournament thus far.
France, for all their incredible talent, have played well within themselves through the tournament and have relied on a water-tight defence to see them through. Les Bleus were second in Group D behind Austria and then squeezed past Belgium 1-0 in the round of 16. In the quarterfinals they came up against an equally resilient Portugal and the match inevitably went to penalties, with Didier Deschamps’s side advancing 5-3. Yet the fact that they have scored just three goals thus far – two of them own goals and one a penalty – suggests that France have not yet moved out of second gear.
What the teams are saying
“My players are insatiable. I’m proud to coach players like this. I’ve known many of them for many years. They’re used to competing at the highest level and they have an opportunity to win [the tournament]. This team are always going to compete. There’s always room for improvement, of course, but we can’t question their pride, quality, and commitment,” said Spain coach Luis de la Fuente.
“We’re in the semifinals and it’s something we shouldn’t take for granted, even if we may be used to it recently. I was already enjoying being in the quarterfinals. Now we go to win it,” said France coach Didier Deschamps.
Players to watch.
Nico Williams – Alongside his fellow winger on the opposite flank, Lamine Yamal, Nico Williams has provided Spain with an incredible attacking thrust. His pace, movement, and ability to both create and finish scoring opportunities will be a feature of this match.
William Saliba – With France’s attack misfiring throughout the tournament, they have had to rely on the excellence of their defence… and no one has exemplified this better than William Salibia, whose positioning, composure, and determination have been beyond reproach.
In head-to-head terms, Spain and France have met in 36 matches dating back as far as 1922. La Furia Roja have claimed 16 wins compared to 13 for Les Bleus, while seven games have been drawn.
The teams last met in the UEFA Nations League final in October 2021, with France winning 2-1 in Milan thanks to goals from Karim Benzema and Kylian Mbappe.
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UEFA Euro 2024 broadcast details
All times CAT
Tuesday 9 July
21:00: Spain v France – LIVE on SuperSport Premier League, SuperSport Maximo 1, SuperSport Maximo 2 and SuperSport Maximo 360

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