Two of Europe’s biggest names meet in Madrid on Saturday, with both Spain and Italy having made fantastic starts to their World Cup qualifying campaigns. The duo have dropped just four points between them from their matches to date, making this an intriguing encounter at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday.
World Cup 2018 Qualifying – Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid – Saturday 2nd September – 19:45 UK Time
Best Odd of: 5/6 at Sky Bet
Best Odd of: 9/4 at Betfred
Best Odd of: 18/5 at 888Sport
Match Preview: Spain vs Italy
The two teams both have 16 points to their name in Group G, with Spain and Italy having played out a 1-1 draw when the duo met back in October. With some of Europe’s star players set to line up for their respective national teams this weekend, all eyes are certain to be on this high-profile encounter. With a whole host of betting markets available for this match, let’s take a closer look at the two teams.
Spain Team News & Form
Manager Julen Lopetegui has led his side to a near perfect qualifying campaign to date, with their star-filled playing squad looking to quickly make up for a disappointing Euro 2016 campaign. A narrow defeat to Italy in France meant that Spain were eliminated in the group stage, with ‘The Red Fury’ looking to make up for this on Saturday evening in front of their home support. Manager Lopetegui has recalled former Barcelona favourite David Villa to his squad for the match, as well as AC Milan midfielder Suso, who could earn a first cap on Saturday. However, with the likes of Alvaro Morata, David Silva and Sergio Ramos in their line-up, Spain will be hoping to dominate against their close rivals. Meanwhile, having started the new season in fine style, Real Madrid’s Marco Asensio could well earn a rare start for Spain.
Italy Team News & Form
Having replaced Antonio Conte after Euro 2016, Gian Piero Ventura has seen his side make a great start to qualifying, winning five of their six matches, just like Spain. Having scored 18 goals and conceded just 4 so far, Italy have been at their consistent best over the past ten months. While a trip to Spain would strike fear into many national teams, Italy know exactly what is expected of them this weekend. A 5-0 win over Lichtenstein last time around demonstrates the kind of mood in camp at the moment. The likes of Gianluigi Buffon, Giorgio Chiellini and Daniele De Rossi bring incredible experience to their squad, while the talents of Marco Verratti, Andrea Belotti and Lorenzo Insigne make them a threat to anyone.
Head to Head
As previously mentioned, the duo played out a competitive draw back in October, with Italy having seen off Spain at Euro 2016 too. The two teams have met on a number of occasions in the past, with little separating the European giants.
Betting Odds and Predictions
For those looking to place a bet on this match, simply backing a win for Spain could well be worthwhile, given their form on home turf. Bookmakers 10Bet offer odds of 17/20 for this market, while an Italian win can be backed at odds of 17/4 on the same platform.
Elsewhere, given Italy’s defensive record over the years, betting on their being under 2.5 goals could well be the way to go, with Ladbrokes offering odds of 8/15 for this market.
Top Betting Tip
Our top betting for this match is to bet on the double chance market at Ladbrokes, with backing ‘Spain or Draw’ available at odds of 2/11.