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Former favorite France vs. main challenger Spain: everything you need to know about the first Euro 2024 semifinal that is happening today

Artem RossinskySport
The first semifinal will be held in Munich

Passion versus fanaticism. This is how the first semifinal of Euro 2024 will be played between Spain and France. No one expected one team at this stage before the tournament, while the other was predicted to be eliminated every day. However, both of them are here and are preparing surprises for their opponents. What do you need to know about today's meeting? OBOZ.UA will tell you.

Supercomputer says one of these teams is the future champion

There are only three Euro matches left, and the forecast for the champion has changed radically. Analysts turned to a supercomputer for help: it looked at the results and key indicators of all semifinalists, and now we have completely different favorites. The machine has determined that the Spanish national team is most likely to win the Euro gold medal after defeating Germany, with 32% odds on them winning the tournament. France comes next with 27%. England has the same amount. The supercomputer openly called the Netherlands an outright outsider in both the semifinals and the possible final, if they reach it. That is, purely theoretically, the calculations suggest that Luis de la Fuente's team will win today's game.

Former favorite France vs. main challenger Spain: everything you need to know about the first Euro 2024 semifinal that is happening today

The referee of the match is also known: Slovenian Slavko Vinčić has been appointed for the first semifinal match between Spain and France. This year, he has the Champions League final among his big matches. Tomaž Klančnik and Andraž Kovačič, also Slovenes, have been appointed as Vinčić's assistants. At the Euros, Vinčić rested from the group stage, where he played two matches.

Previous meetings

The history of meetings between France and Spain includes as many as 36 matches! They can be divided into several stages, but for an objective comparison, let's take the most recent ones from the beginning of this century. Since 2000, there have been eleven meetings (friendly, European Championship, World Cup, and knockout rounds). The advantage is on the side of Spanish team, which has 6 wins. The French have 4, and there was one draw too.

Former favorite France vs. main challenger Spain: everything you need to know about the first Euro 2024 semifinal that is happening today

It's worth noting that today the teams that are not in a hurry to score against each other will meet. Over the past 24 years, the goal statistics are 14:10 in favor of the Spaniards. This tradition is sure to continue: the Spanish failed to realize many chances against Italy and Germany, and there is no more joking about the French goals at Euro 24. If they score at least one, it will be a lot.

Another interesting fact. In 2000, these teams met at the Euros. France won the match and then the tournament itself. In 2012, there was retribution: Spain won both the duel and the European Championship in Ukraine. Does winning this pairing mean a 100% bid for the main victory?

Former favorite France vs. main challenger Spain: everything you need to know about the first Euro 2024 semifinal that is happening today

Personnel losses hit the Spaniards harder

The team has lost three players. It is impossible to count on Pedri at all as the injury has knocked him out at least until the end of July. The footballer injured his knee in the winning quarterfinal against the Germans. The doctors already know about the sprain of the ligaments in his left knee, but additional examinations are ongoing. Moreover, the treatment period will not be limited to this championship: the midfielder risks missing the start of the season in La Liga and the first matches of the Champions League. Carvajal and Le Normand will also not play due to disqualification.

In France, the human resources situation is not so bad. On the contrary, they are considering who to remove from the squad. For example, Deschamps has problems with consistency. If de la Fuente, at least in the third group match, gave the reserve players a taste of the Euros, the French coach would have many eminent players mostly warming the bench. L'Equipe writes that the French are planning to play the match without Antoine Griezmann. The coach wants to neutralize the Spanish center and break through it with high-speed flanks in a 4-3-3 formation. Griezmann is not suitable for such actions at all, but Dembele is.

Former favorite France vs. main challenger Spain: everything you need to know about the first Euro 2024 semifinal that is happening today

By the way, such information leaks were criticized by French fans. RMC Sport published a video of the players preparing to take a penalty kick. That is, the team is potentially preparing for a draw and a post-match series. The fans "thanked" their own journalists and even called it a disclosure of state secrets.

What we know for sure is that the teams are both very ready. In Spain, the main assistant Yamal is in full order, Olmo has risen to a cosmic level, Rodri and Ruiz will build an advantage in the center, Williams will look for new breakthrough attempts on the flank, and Morata will be at the forefront. France, on the other hand, will have Saliba with the best rate of accurate passes, dribbler Dembele, defensive Hernandez, long passer Tchouaméni, and the ideological Mbappe. This match will really be indicative of the players' ambitions to fight for the team to the last, and we really hope that there will be no disappointments.

Former favorite France vs. main challenger Spain: everything you need to know about the first Euro 2024 semifinal that is happening today

Key words

At a press conference, Didier Deschamps said that France should create more chances and, most importantly, realize them. He also praised his players and the willingness of Mbappe to give 110% of his strength on the field. As for the Spaniards, he said this:

"All Spanish teams have always had a good midfield. They know how to control the game, Rodri plays a key role there. This is the team that has had the best Euro so far. They leave an incredible impression after every game."
- Didier Deschamps, head coach of France
Former favorite France vs. main challenger Spain: everything you need to know about the first Euro 2024 semifinal that is happening today

The Spaniards are betting on practical football, which will bring results. Coach Luis de la Fuente said that his goal is to be better than France and to use the speedy wings and control from the fullbacks. Here's what he had to say about the French:

"We are facing a terrific opponent. We acknowledge the team's potential and I think it is fantastic. They have world-class players. I always enjoy watching football, especially a great team like France."
- Luis de la Fuente, head coach of the Spanish national team

The game between Spain and France will take place today at the Allianz Arena in Munich. The game starts at 10 p.m. Even the tentative lineups are not yet ready as both coaching staffs are closely guarding this information amid media leaks. It is not surprising as a lot is at stake, namely the Euro 2024 final.

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