Thursday, July 25, 2024

Prediction: Spain vs Italy

Verdict: Spain win 

Best Odds: 11/10

Bookmaker: Dachbet

In what is a heavyweight EURO 24 showdown on Thursday night, Spain will meet defending champions Italy at the Veltins Arena.

Spain

Starting with Spain, opening their European Championship adventure with a remarkable performance last weekend as they stormed their way to a 3-0 romp against World Cup bronze medalists Croatia, La Roja certainly find the mood in their camp at a red-hot high. With some billing Luis de la Fuente’s camp as a potential dark horse contender this summer, the three-time European champions have suffered just a single defeat from any of their previous 13 appearances across all competitions. Getting their hands on a maiden Nations League crown last summer, Spain have also found a real clinical edge in the final third. Signing off their pre-tournament preparations with 5-1 and 5-0 victories against Northern Ireland and Andorra respectively, La Roja have now notched 16 goals in just their last four outings.

Team News

Finding the net against Croatia last weekend and now sitting joint-third in the European Championship all-time goalscoring charts, Atletico Madrid marksmen Alvaro Morata will spearhead Spain’s charge on Thursday night. Likewise, putting in a stellar performance against the Blazers in Berlin, Barcelona sensation Lamine Yamal will once again partner Morata in the final third.

While it might appear that veteran defender Nacho Fernandez will be leaving Spanish giants Real Madrid this summer, the 34-year-old will join Robin Le Normand at the heart of La Roja’s defence. Looking to book their knockout stage ticket on Thursday night, de la Fuente should name the same starting XI here.

Italy

As for Italy, mounting what was a crucial comeback against Albania last weekend as they eventually snatched a 2-1 victory in rural Germany, the Azzurri will be seeking a more polished performance here. However, although the defending European champions might have suffered just a single defeat from any of their previous 12 appearances across all competitions, Luciano Spalletti’s men face what is a stern step up in class when they arrive at the Veltins Arena. Suffering a 2-1 loss when they met La Roja last summer while in Nations League action, Italy should be concerned by a downbeat record against Spain. Mustering just a single win from any of their last five showdowns against their fellow European heavyweights, the former Inter Milan boss appears to have a real challenge on his hands in midweek.

Team News

Playing a crucial role last month as Italian outfit Atalanta got their hands on a maiden Europa League crown, former West Ham striker Gianluca Scamacca will spearhead Italy’s charge on Thursday night. Despite speculation surrounding a potential move to Premier League giants Liverpool this summer, Juventus’ Federico Chiesa will partner Scamacca in the final third.

Getting on the scoresheet against Albania last weekend, Inter Milan ace Nicolo Barella will partner Arsenal’s Jorginho at the heart of Italy’s midfield at the Veltins Arena. Appointed as the Azzurii’s new skipper ahead of this summer’s European Championships, PSG shot-stopper Gianluigi Donnarumma will earn a 64th international cap here.

Key Factors to Consider

    • When Spain and Italy last met in Nations League action 12 months ago, La Roja picked up a 2-1 victory.
    • Spain have suffered just a single defeat from any of their previous five meetings against the Azzurri.
    • La Roja have suffered just a single defeat from any of their previous 13 appearances across all competitions.
    • Likewise, Italy have lost just one of their previous 12 matchups across all competitions.
    • Four of the last five meetings between Spain and Italy have finished with both teams finding the net.

    Conclusion

    Opening their EURO 24 adventure with a thumping display last weekend as they secured a 3-0 romp against World Cup bronze medalists Croatia, Spain will be looking to make another statement of intent here. While Italy might have eventually snatched a 2-1 victory against Albania on Saturday night, they will be bracing themselves for a stern step up in class at the Veltins Arena. Hit with a 2-1 loss when they last met La Roja 12 months ago while in Nations League action, we are expecting a similar outcome.

    Verdict: Spain win

    Best Odds: 11/10

    Bookmaker: Dachbet

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Tom Dunstan


    Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
    Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan

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