These sides clash again after meeting at the last 16 stage of the Euros, where Antonio Conte masterminded an impressive 2-0 win over Vicente Del Bosque’s men. Both those coaches have moved on but their replacements have had solid starts to their tenures, with Italy winning 3-1 in Israel in their opening qualifier, while Spain thumped Liechtenstein 8-0 after a 2-0 friendly victory over Belgium.
Italy are unbeaten in their last 17 home games and if we exclude friendlies they’re a remarkable W32-D6-L0 at home since 2000, with 23 clean sheets. According to our rankings Italy are 12th in the world, while Spain are 4th but Italy haven’t hosted a side ranked above them in any of those games and the only top-10 ranked team they played was France in a game that ended 0-0 in 2007.
Spain have been very much an ‘unders’ team on the road in recent times as six of their last 10 away saw fewer than two goals and they’ve kept five clean sheets in their last seven. When travelling to sides that are ranked in the world’s top 25 they’re W4-D0-L1 in competitive games since 2007 and so we’re going to take a chance on the Spaniards continuing their impressive start under Julen Lopetegui, though it could be a cagey affair so we’re backing Under 1.5 Goals.
Recommendations: Spain Win at 3.00