Spain set to suffer against Italy: Richard Buxton
Enrique's men could find it tough against Mancini's well-oiled machine
Spain may have been the first side to book their place in the Euro 2020 semi-finals, but they have hardly done so in convincing fashion.
Suffering has been a recurring theme in their journey at the Finals, scraping into the knockout stages at the 11th hour before nerve-shredding encounters with Croatia and Switzerland which had to be settled by extra-time and a penalty shoot-out respectively.
When La Furia Roja face the Azzurri in their semi-final at Wembley tomorrow morning (Singapore time), they will need to do more to earn a return to England's national stadium for the final.
Spain coach Luis Enrique's longstanding refusal to ingratiate himself with the media has seen the former Barcelona boss vilified in his homeland by those who believe the decision to include no Real Madrid players in his squad will ultimately prove to be their great unravelling.
Every unconvincing performance since an emphatic 5-0 rout over Slovakia in their final group game grants his biggest critics additional licence to twist the knife deeper into his reign.
To silence his detractors for a while at least, Enrique will need his men to overcome their weaknesses, which risk being exposed by Roberto Mancini's imperious Italy.
This is indisputably a far cry from Spain's "tiki taka" class which swept aside Italy in the 2012 final to bring their total dominance of international football full-circle.
They swarmed the masters of "catenaccio" nine years ago but their journey to the pantheon of greatness started with a shoot-out victory against the same opposition in 2008.
Yet Enrique does not have the luxury of overseeing the same golden generation that Vicente del Bosque and the late Luis Aragones both had the good fortune to inherit.
Achilles' heels within Enrique's side are plentiful and varying; from the erratic goalkeeping displays of Unai Simon to Alvaro Morata's staggering profligacy in front of goal.
Against Italy, they could also miss the injured forward Pablo Sarabia and defender Aymeric Laporte.
In midfield, Sergio Busquets and company will need to keep a tight leash on Marco Verratti, who has created 12 chances at Euro 2020, just one behind the leader, Belgium's Kevin de Bruyne.
Wembley will either see the best of Spain's team spirit under their abrasive coach or their limitations exposed by what has become the outstanding team of Euro 2020.
Like Enrique, Mancini knows how the burden of expectation hampers his own ensemble.
Unbeaten in almost three years, Italy resemble an incredibly well-oiled machine which blends youthful verve with experience.
But there is a worry as they will be without left-back Leonardo Spinazzola, who saw his breakout tournament cut short by a torn Achilles tendon during last week's 2-1 quarter-final win over Belgium.
How Italy respond to the loss of the AS Roma player could determine whether this is a genuine renaissance for the four-time world champions or merely another false dawn.
Get The New Paper on your phone with the free TNP app. Download from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store now