Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Spain vs France LIVE commentary: Giants meet for blockbuster Euro semi-final

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The Euro 2024 semi-finals are here and they begin with a blockbuster clash between Spain and France tonight, live on talkSPORT. 

La Roja have won every game at the tournament so far and knocked hosts Germany out in the quarters thanks to a last-gasp winner in extra time.

Spain knocked out the hosts in the quarters to keep up their winning run

The goals have been flowing for Luis de la Fuente’s side, but it’s been a different story for Les Bleus who haven’t scored from open play at all in Germany. 

Kylian Mbappe and co seem to be well off their usual pace but they’ve still made the semi-finals after sending Cristiano Ronaldo‘s Portugal home on penalties.

It is set to be a thriller in Munich and the winner of this tie will take on England or Netherlands in the showpiece final this Sunday. 

Spain vs France: talkSPORT coverage 

This Euro 2024 semi-final will take place on Tuesday, July 9. 

Kick-off at the Allianz Arena is scheduled for 8pm. 

talkSPORT will have live coverage of all the action presented by Hugh Woozencroft. 

Commentary will come from Joe Shennan and former England striker Darren Bent

talkSPORT.com will also be running a live blog of all the action. 

To tune in to talkSPORT or talkSPORT 2 through the website, click HERE for the live stream.

You can also listen via the talkSPORT app, on DAB digital radio, through your smart speaker and on 1089 or 1053 AM.

Mbappe and France sent Cristiano Ronaldo home on penaltiesCredit: Getty
  • This is the sixth meeting between Spain and France at a major tournament. France won three of the first four (2-0 in EURO 1984 final, 2-1 in EURO 2000 quarter-final, 3-1 in 2006 World Cup round of 16), while Spain won the most recent game, a 2-0 win in the EURO 2012 quarter-final. The other game was a 1-1 draw during the EURO 1996 group stage.
  • Meeting in the EURO 2024 semi-final, and having already met in the group stage (1996), round of 16 (2006), quarter-final (2000 and 2012) and final (1984) of major tournaments, Spain vs France will be just the third fixture to be played at each stage of World Cup and EURO tournaments, along with Italy vs Spain and England vs Germany.

Spain vs France: Mbappe’s mask 

Mbappe’s mask has clearly made a big impact on his game. 

The superstar has struggled to perform at his best since breaking his nose in France’s Euro 2024 opener against Austria. 

He has faced plenty of criticism so far as he has only scored one goal and was substituted in extra time against Portugal despite penalties looming. 

But his nose has no doubt been playing on his mind and playing in a mask seems to have thrown everything off for him.

Speaking last week, Mbappe said: “It is horrible playing with a mask. I keep changing because there is something that bothers me.”

France will be desperate for their main man to get back to his usual game but that may not be possible with his injury so they may need to rely on others to get the job done. 

The France star’s mask has clearly been impacting himCredit: Getty
  • France are looking to reach their fourth EURO final (1984, 2000 and 2016) but only the second not played on French soil (EURO 2000 in the Netherlands). Spain, meanwhile, are looking to reach their fifth final, with only Germany playing in more (6). The Spaniards have progressed from four of five semi-finals, but lost on penalties to eventual winners Italy at this stage at EURO 2020.
  • Spain are the only team who have won all five matches at EURO 2024. No team in European Championship history has won six matches in a single tournament and no team has ever won six EURO games in a row.

Spain vs France: Team news 

Spain are going to be forced into multiple changes in the semi-final. 

During a heated last-gasp win over Germany, two of their players picked up their second card of the tournament and will now be suspended.

One of those players was Dani Carvajal who was already set to miss the game after being booked before getting a red card deep in extra time and banning himself anyway. 

Robin Le Normand is sidelined too, meaning Nacho Fernandez could be in line for a start. 

Dani Olmo is expected to come in for the injured Pedri.

As for France, Adrien Rabiot will be back available after serving his suspension. 

Eduardo Camavinga and Randal Kolo Muani both started against Portugal but may drop back to the bench for this one. 

Carvajal is one of three players banned for this game
  • France forward Kylian Mbappé has scored just one goal from 20 shots at EURO 2024. Indeed, at the European Championship overall he has scored just once from 34 attempts (3%), a contrast to his record at the World Cup, where he has scored 12 goals from 39 shots, a 31% shot conversion rate.
  • Lamine Yamal has created 14 chances for his Spain teammates at EURO 2024, the most by a Spaniard at a major tournament since Xavi at EURO 2012 (25). He has three assists, with no Spanish player ever registering more at a single European Championship tournament, while his 14 chances created is the most by a teenager at a major tournament Opta has on record (since 1966 for World Cup, 1980 for EURO).

Spain vs France: What has been said? 

Amid the criticism for Mbappe, his manager Didier Deschamps has leapt to his defence. 

The France boss said: “Don’t you think he has already made enough history, with what he has done so far?

“He wants to make even more history.

“We did everything we could with him, with the medical staff, to get him to be here. 

“During the preparation, he had a little back problem, too, but Kylian is here.”

talkSPORT is bringing you live commentary of EVERY game at Euro 2024. Tune in via the website or the app, and follow our live Euro 2024 blog for all the latest news, views and reaction to the big moments.

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