World Cup Qualifiers preview and odds: Italy vs Spain

World Cup Qualyifing

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Published: 06/10/2016

World Cup Qualifiers preview and odds: Italy vs Spain

October 06 , 2016 16:30pm - Juventus Stadium, Torino

Referee: F. Brych

World Cup Qualification Europe

Italy and Spain will renew their rivalry on Thursday night when they go head-to-head in Group G of the 2018 World Cup qualifying stages.

Group favourites battle for supremacy

After meeting in the last 16 of Euro 2016, Italy and Spain will do battle again, this time with a place in the 2018 World Cup finals on the line. In that last meeting, it was Antonio Conte`s Italy who got the better of Vicente Del Bosque`s men with a 2-0 win. Since then, both coaches have left their roles, so this match will provide a good test for how the new incumbents are faring.

Italy come into this match defending an unbeaten home record that stretches back to 2000 across 38 competitive matches. That statistic highlights the tough task that Spain faces in the match. However, the Italians have rarely faced a team as good as Thursday`s opponents during that long run of matches.

In a recent friendly match on home soil, the Italians were well beaten 3-1 by Euro 2016 runners-up France. However, they opened their World Cup qualifying campaign under Giampero Ventura with a 3-1 win in Israel.

Meanwhile, the Spaniards got off to a good star under new boss Julen Lopetegui, beating Belgium 2-0 in a friendly before firing eight past Liechtenstein without reply. The 50-year-old coach is now working with many of the players that led to Euro glory at U-21 and U-19 level. That connection should provide some continuity for the next generation of players that he has been tasked with bringing through.

The matches between these two should determine the outright winner of Group G and with just one guranateed qualification place at stake, both sides will be looking to gain the upper hand.

Recent form (All comps)

Italy: WLLLWL

Spain: WWLLW

Betting odds and tips

Spain have not lost a World Cup qualifying match away from home since 1993 and in that time, they have only conceded more than one goal on two occasions. In addition, they kept clean sheets in their last four World Cup qualifiers and their last four Euro Qualifiers.

This should be a tight game but we expect the new look Spanish team to edge it.

You can back Spain to Win to Nil at 13/5 with Bet365.

By Neil Morris

© Frixo 2017

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