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Spain vs Italy Predictions

  • 18:45
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Under 2.5 Match Goals

Reason for tip

Under 2.5 goals landed in four of Italy and Spain’s six Nations League group-stage games and the two sides lack a true centre-forward to set them apart at this level. The Spanish haven’t yet fully moved away from their overly patient style and their lack of threat in the final third cost them in Qatar.

8/13odds when tipped
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Italy 2-0

Reason for tip

Italy have won by two clear goals in three of their last five games, while Spain have failed to score in two of their last three, including a 2-0 loss to Scotland in their last international outing.

14/1odds when tipped
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Spain vs Italy Predictions

  • Under 2.5 goals landed in four of Italy and Spain’s six Nations League group-stage games.
  • Both sides lack a consistent scorer up front
  • Spain made an inconsistent start to 2023, losing 2-0 away to Scotland

Both sides need a boost

Life hasn’t gone to plan for either Italy or Spain since they met at the semi-final stage of the last Nations League finals and Thursday’s encounter in Enschede offers one team the chance to receive a much-needed shot in the arm.

Spain won that last meeting between the sides 2-1, ending Italy’s historic 37-game unbeaten run in the process before losing to France in the final.

That was as close as former head coach Luis Enrique got to delivering a title for La Roja, Enrique having been shown the door after an underwhelming 2022 World Cup campaign ended with defeat to Morocco in the last-16.

In stepped former Spain under-19 and under-21 coach Luis de la Fuente and he’s determined to put his stamp on the squad after waiting in the wings for his chance.

Spain moving away from Enrique’s way

The new Spain boss is eager to do away with Enrique’s possession-based, cautious gameplan and the majority of those tainted by that system. From the squad that went to the last Nations League finals a little over 18 months ago, only six players remain, while the likes of Jesus Navas and Juan Bernat have been recalled from the international wilderness.

Spain are a work in progress under de la Fuente, as demonstrated in their first two games with him at the helm as they beat 3-0 Norway but lost 2-0 to Scotland in March’s European Championship qualifiers.

It’s hard to have much faith in this new-look Spain side yet, but Italy are hardly a sure thing, heading to the Netherlands after a mixed start to Euro 2024 qualifying.

Issues for Italy

The Azzurri were well beaten at home by England in their opening game and then recorded a far from convincing 2-0 win in Malta as Roberto Mancini continues to try and build a new team out of the ashes of their Euro 2020-winning side

They were brought back down to earth quickly following their European Championship success when failing to qualify for last winter’s World Cup before bouncing back to win a tricky Nations League group that featured Germany, England and Hungary.

It’s been a mixed bag from Italy and Spain over the last two years, and they do share a common problem; a lack of a goalscoring number nine.

Spain are still trying to get the goal-shy Alvaro Morata to fit into that mould, while Italy’s search got so desperate they went to Argentina and picked up Tigre’s Mateo Retegui.

Retegui did find the net in both of Italy’s Euro qualifiers but it remains to be seen if he’ll be a consistent goalscorer at international level, while de la Fuente has tried to alleviate Spain’s goalscoring issues by giving the likes of Iago Aspas, Borja Iglesias and Rodrigo a try.

The strengths of both teams lie away from their frontlines and at the end of a long season, there’s the potential for two tired sides short on firepower to cancel one another out.

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