(Sporting Alert) — Spain U21 starts as the hot favorites to lift the European Under-21 Championship title again when they take on Italy U21 in the Final at Teddi Stadium here tonight.
Spain coach Julen Lopetegui has opted to include the tournament’s leading goalscorer Alvaro Morata, who has been given his second start of the competition and is a good touch to add to the four goals he’s already scored .
He replaces Rodrigo, who despite scoring in the 3-0 win over Norway in semi-finals is back on the bench.
Also starting tonight for Spain are captain and Barcelona midfielder Thiago and Malaga’s Isco, who is being backed as the player of this year’s tournament.
Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea, who is yet to concede a goal thus far, Cristian Tello, Marc Bartra, Martin Montoya and Koke all start as well.
Meanwhile, Liverpool’s forward Fabio Borini lead the attack for Italy and he will have the likes of Ciro Immobile, Marco Verratti, Matteo Bianchetti and Lorenzo Insigne for company in the starting XI.
Italy and Spain have met twice before in the final, with Spain winning in 1986 and Italy returning the favour 10-years later
Italy U21 v Spain U21 Teams
Italy U21: Bardi, Donati, Bianchetti, Caldirola, Regini, Florenzi, Rossi, Verratti, Insigne, Borini, Immobile
Subs: Colombi, Biraghi, Capuano, Marrone, Gabbiadini, Destro, Sansone, Bertolacci, Paloschi, Saponara, Crimi, Leali
Spain U21: De Gea, Montoya, Bartra, Martinez, Moreno, Koke, Illarramendi, Thiago, Tello, Morata, Isco
Subs: Marino, Nacho, Rodrigo, Camacho, Muniesa, Alvaro, Sarabia, Muniain, Carvajal, Vazquez, Robles
Referee: Matej Jug (Slovenia)