[2:45 PM] Spain @ Italy

What will be the match result?

Spain: Win

@ Italy: Win or Draw


Recent Results:

Spain: 3-0-2

Italy: 2-0-3


Current odds:

Spain: Win: (+170)

Italy: Win or Draw: (-208)


Saul Niguez and Thiago are doubts ahead of Spain’s upcoming matches against Italy and Albania. Ander Herrera has been called up to the senior Spanish squad for the first time in his career as cover. Javi Martinez has been ruled out with thigh injury. Spain have struggled against Italy in the past, most recently at Euro 2016, and Julen Lopetegui may look to tinker with formations to ensure the same problems do not occur on Thursday.

Italy manager Giampiero Ventura says that Marco Verratti must be protected and will only feature in one of their two matches during the international break. You’d expect him to play against Spain and not feature against Macedonia. The likes of Daniele De Rossi, Riccardo Montolivo and Marco Parolo are battling for the third midfield position alongisde Verratti and Alessandro Florenzi.

Italy’s 2-0 win over Spain at Euro 2016 was their first in six encounters but those matches have usually been incredibly tough for Spain. There is something about the way Italy play that seems to effect Spain more than any other country and the home side will be hoping to apply the same pressure on Thursday.

Spain put eight past Liechtenstein in their first World Cup qualifier and seem to have got off to a good start in the post Vincente Del Bosque era. They will be determined to come away from this fixture with at least a point to ensure they are still in the running for top spot. Italy are also in a transitional phase having appointed Giampiero Ventura to replace Antonio Conte after Euro 2016. They were beaten 3-1 by France in his first match in charge, although they followed that up with a 3-1 win over Israel in their opening qualifier.

Expect another tactical battle here. Spain would be happy to come away with a point but obviously they will want the full prize on Thursday. With Antonio Conte out the picture, they may well do that.


StreakSmarts Pick: Spain: Win

Confidence: 4/10

StreakSmarter Pick