Pellè set for Italy's showdown with Spain

By SFC Media time Mon 27 Jun Club

Graziano Pellè will look to become the latest Southampton player to reach the quarter-finals of EURO 2016 when Italy face Spain later today.

Portugal duo José Fonte and Cédric are already into the last eight of the tournament, with Pellè the next man from Saints who has a chance to join them.

However, he and Italy face a big challenge to make it through, as they face reigning European champions Spain, at the Stade de France, in Saint-Denis (kick-off 5pm BST).

Pellè will hope to lead the line for Antonio Conte’s team, having started their opening two group matches – which both ended in victory, with the Saints strike scoring in the impressive 2-0 win over Belgium – before being rested for the 1-0 defeat to Republic of Ireland last Wednesday.

Italy topped a difficult Group E, which also included Sweden, and might feel slightly aggrieved that their reward for that is a meeting with Spain in the last 16.

It won’t get any easier for whoever triumphs tonight, either, as the winner will advance to play world champions Germany in the quarter-finals, after their 3-0 victory over Slovakia last night.

Two Saints players have already seen their tournament end at the last 16 stage, with Northern Ireland’s Steven Davis and Republic of Ireland’s Shane Long both suffering narrow defeats, to Wales and France respectively, while England duo Fraser Forster and Ryan Bertrand will be up against Iceland after the Italy game.

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