Cesar Azpilicueta offered some kind words to Chelsea teammate Emerson Palmieri before the pair lock horns on Tuesday evening.

Speaking to the Guardian, the Blues captain was previewing Spain’s European Championship semi-final showdown with Italy tomorrow night.

Three Stamford Bridge representatives could be on display under the Wembley arch.

Jorginho and Azpilicueta are almost guaranteed starters, but there is set to be one more unlikely addition.

Switzerland v Spain - UEFA Euro 2020: Quarter-final
(Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

With Leonardo Spinazzola ruled out through injury, Roberto Mancini will probably call upon Emerson to play at left-wing back.

Chelsea’s attacking defender has only made two appearances at the tournament so far but is the most suitable replacement for his absent college.

His opportunities at club level have been equally infrequent. However, he now has the chance to wash all of that away against Spain.

Emerson at the ready

Azpilicueta credited Emerson’s spirit and was certain he’d be prepared for the upcoming clash in the capital.

Italy v Wales - UEFA Euro 2020: Group A
(Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)

He said: “He’s a clear example of the strength of the group at Chelsea, the togetherness.


“Despite playing very little he has always contributed, he keeps a positive attitude and trains hard, awaiting his chance.

“He scored an important goal against Atlético Madrid. The group makes the difference; that carried us to the Champions League.”

Comings and goings

Helping Italy into the Euros final could well increase Emerson’s transfer value, amidst suggestions he might leave this summer.

Reports have linked the 26-year-old with a move back to Italy, three years after he left Roma to join Chelsea for £17.6m (Sky Sports).

Chelsea FC v Atletico Madrid  - UEFA Champions League Round Of 16 Leg Two
(Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Interestingly, the man Emerson is set to understudy for versus Spain could be the man to take his place in Thomas Tuchel’s squad.

Spinazzola is being tipped for a move to South West London, after impressing at the Euros.

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