Nations League semifinals: Host Italy faces Spain, Belgium plays France

UEFA said in a statement following its Executive Committee meeting that the matches will be played at the Juventus Stadium in Turin and the San Siro in Milan.

The tournament will feature the host nation as well as Belgium, France and Spain with a draw scheduled later on Thursday to determine which teams will face each other in the semi-finals on October 6-7, 2021. (REPRESENTATIVE PHOTO)   -  Getty Images

Host Italy has been drawn to face Spain while Belgium will meet France in the last four of the Nations League finals next October, UEFA said on Thursday.

The matches will be held at San Siro in Milan on October 6 and the Juventus Stadium in Turin a day later, respectively, the governing body of football in Europe said after an Executive Committee meeting via video conference.

The final will take place in Milan on October 10, while the third-place playoff will be held on the same day in Turin.

Italy, which topped Nations League Group A1, will face Spain for the first time in a major tournament since it beat the side 2-0 in the last-16 of Euro 2016.

Their most recent meeting in a World Cup qualifier saw Spain win 3-0 in Madrid three years ago and it is in form after thrashing Germany 6-0 in Seville en route to topping Group A4.

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“Like us, they have a lot of new players and are still putting out a strong team. They have a different style now but are still a technical side,” Italy coach Roberto Mancini said.

Spain boss Luis Enrique added: “Italy may look a little like us in that they want to regain the level of yesteryear.

“They're in a period of change. We have time until October to study them and we'll see their strengths and weaknesses.”

Group A3 winner France renews its rivalry with Belgium, having beaten it 1-0 in their last meeting at the 2018 World Cup semi-finals in Russia before going on to win the tournament.

Europa Conference League in 2022

Meanwhile, UEFA said the Albanian capital Tirana would host the first final of its new third-tier club competition - the Europa Conference League - in 2022 at the National Arena.

The governing body added Romania and Georgia will co-host the 16-team European Under-21 Championship finals in 2023.

It also said the Executive Committee had decided to remove a ban imposed on October 20 on UEFA competition matches being played in Azerbaijan and Armenia.

Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia said last month they had signed a deal to end the military conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh region after more than a month of bloodshed.

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