Kick off: Thursday, October 6, 7:45 PM GMT
Venue: Juventus Stadium (Turin)
Head to head record
Italy vs Spain 2-0 (Euro 2016)
Italy vs Spain 1-1 (Friendly International 2016)
Spain vs Italy 1-0 (Friendly International 2014)
Spain vs Italy 0-0 (2013 Confederations Cup)
Spain vs Italy 4-0 (Euro 2012)
Italy vs Spain prediction
Italy and Spain, the two European giants, face each other in the 2018 World Cup qualifier at Juventus Stadium. The Spaniards aim to get their revenge on the Azzurri for the loss at Euro 2016 and, no doubt, there will be fireworks in the Group G derby.
Antonio Conte is no longer in charge of Italy and new coach Giampiero Ventura marked his debut with a 3-1 win over Israel. The Azzurri proved their worth in the Sammy Ofer Stadium clash, but clinching top position in Group G is easier said than done. Italy take on Spain in their second group game in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers and the fact that they outplayed la Furia Roja at the 2016 European Championship finals is giving fans a reason for optimism ahead of Thursday’s showdown. Giampiero Ventura’s team were beaten by France in their last home game (friendly) and, no doubt, the hosts will be happy with one point from the Spain clash. Graziano Pelle has netted four goals in nine appearances for Shandong Luneng this term and the former Southampton attacker is widely expected to lead the line for the hosts against Julen Lopetegui’s charges.
Giorgio Chiellini is sidelined through suspension, but coach Giampiero Ventura has no fresh injury worries ahead of the visit of Spain. The likes of Andrea Belotti, Nicola Sansone, Domenico Criscito and Alessio Romagnoli all received call-ups.
Eight reasons for optimism
Spain failed to impress at Euro 2016, with the team losing to Italy in the last 16 of the showpiece tournament in France. Julen Lopetegui took over the reins and the new manager marked his Spain debut with a win over Belgium in a friendly match. As expected, La Furia Roja rolled over Liechtenstein (8-0) in the opening match of their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign and they will be looking to build on the triumph when they face Italy in the Group G derby. Diego Costa scored twice against the minnows and the in-form attacker is likely to pose a big threat for the opposition defenders in Thursday’s clash at Juventus Stadium. Spain were eliminated by Italy in the 2016 European Championship knockout stages and, no doubt, Julen Lopetegui’s charges are hungry for revenge. Nonetheless, the visitors should not be disappointed with one point from the game.
Saul Niguez and Thiago Alcantara are both doubtful and the duo will be assessed on the match day. Javi Martinez was forced to withdraw, whilst Juan Mata and Juanfran have been overlooked. Sevilla midfielder Vitolo is likely to start the match.
- Spain managed to keep a clean sheet in previous four away (competitive) games
- Under 2.5 goals were scored in previous four meetings between Italy and Spain
- Italy failed to keep a clean sheet in previous three games
- Six yellow cards were shown when Italy and Spain faced each other at Euro 2016
- Sergio Ramos could earn his 139th cap for Spain against Italy
Italy vs Spain betting pick
Spain have been producing fine performances under Julen Lopetegui and seeing that Italy coach Giampiero Ventura can’t count on key defender Giorgio Chiellini for Thursday’s qualifier, I am tempted to put my money on the visitors this time out. Chelsea ace Diego Costa has been in a thrilling form of late and, taking everything into account, the Spaniards are likely to grab something from the match.
Pick: Spain Draw no bet