Italy vs Spain Preview 06/10/2021
ph.FAB / Shutterstock.com
Italy have home advantage for their UEFA Nations League semi-final against Spain on Wednesday, with Milan’s San Siro the venue for the showdown.
The two sides meet for the second time in four months this week, having faced each other in the semi-finals of this summer’s European Championship.
🇮🇹🇪🇸 -𝟯 👀#ItaliaSpagna #NationsLeague #Nazionale #Azzurri #VivoAzzurro pic.twitter.com/6wdv74rzfl
— Nazionale Italiana ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (@Azzurri) October 3, 2021
Following a 1-1 draw, Italy beat Spain 4-2 on penalties last time around. Can La Roja gain their revenge on Wednesday? Or will the Italians prevail once again?
Remarkably, Italy are currently enjoying the longest-ever unbeaten streak in the history of international football.
Roberto Mancini’s men have gone a whopping 37 games without a loss and last tasted defeat all the way back in October 2018.
At Euro 2020, Italy won all three group games before seeing off Austria, Belgium and Spain in the knockouts. They then beat England on penalties in the final.
Since then, Mancini’s side have drawn with Bulgaria and Switzerland in World Cup qualifying before crushing Lithuania 5-0 last time out.
Despite their domination over the past few years, Italy only sit fifth in the FIFA World Rankings – three place above eighth-place Spain.
It’s probably fair to say that the Spaniards exceeded expectations at Euro 2020, making it all the way to the semi-finals.
Luis Enrique’s side picked up a win and two draws during the group stage before beating Croatia and Switzerland in the knockout phase.
However, Italy proved to be too strong for La Roja in the semi-finals – so Spain will be eager to get the better of the Italians this time around.
Spain were beaten 2-1 by Sweden in their first game after the Euros but swiftly bounced back by thrashing Georgia 4-0. Last time out, they beat Kosovo 2-0.
Head-to-head: The overall H2H record between Italy and Spain is relatively even. Spain have claimed 12 wins, Italy have claimed ten wins, while they have also produced ten draws.
Still, it is worth pointing out that Spain have only managed to win one of their previous five matches against Italy in all competitions.
Team news: With injuries to Andrea Belotti, Leonardo Spinazzola and Alessandro Florenzi, Italy manager Roberto Mancini has some selection issues to address.
As for Spain, Tottenham winger Carles Gil has replaced Marcos Llorente in the squad after the Atletico Madrid star picked up an injury.
This is destined to be a tight game between two evenly-matched sides, meaning Italy and Spain are likely to play out a cagey encounter.
With that in mind, PlusBet.net predicts that Italy and Spain will produce a low-scoring draw after 90 minutes, with extra-time and/or penalties needed to determine the winner.