World Cup 2018 Qualifier: Italy – Spain 06 October 2016 20:45

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World Cup 2018 Qualifier: Italy – Spain 06 October 2016 20:45

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World Cup 2018 Qualifier: Italy – Spain

The World Cup 2018 Qualification continues with its second round this week, offering several highly attractive matches including the Thursday clash between two European heavyweights Italy and Spain. These two sides have already met this year as they locked horns in the EURO 2016 round of 16 encounter in June. Back then, Italy claimed a somewhat surprising victory over Spain who were hoping to defend the title. With enormous quality in their squad, the Spaniards are now looking to avenge the defeat as they will travel to Italy to take on local national team in the qualifying Group G. Kicking off at 8:45 PM (CET), the prestigious battle between Italy and Spain will be played at the Juventus Stadium in Torino.


Italy did not have as star-studded outfit at this year´s European Championship as some other teams like Spain, France or Germany but they still managed to deliver a solid performance in most of their matches. Squadra Azzurra might have failed to win a medal at the tournament (they got eliminated by Germany in the quarter final) but they could have been satisfied with their showing. Conte´s men particularly excelled in matches against some of the tournament´s biggest favourites including Belgium (2:0) and Spain (2:0). The Italian national team have been through a major change recently as some of the former icons like Pirlo and Del Piero have been replaced by younger, less experienced players but the transformation of the squad seems to be successful so far. Italy started their World Cup 2018 qualifying campaign with a hard-earned 3:1 win at Israel, a decent result considering they were reduced to ten men for almost a half of the match. Let us see if they can claim another victory in their next game.


Spain were the defending champions at the European Championship hosted by France earlier this year but they failed to meet their medal expectations after they got eliminated by their current qualifying opponents Italy in the round of 16. Since then, La Roja have played two matches and they did great in both of them. On September 1, they clinched a comfortable 2:0 win over very strong Belgium in a warm-up duel and just a few days later, they opened their qualifying campaign in style after they totally destroyed the group outsider Lichtenstein 8:0. The Manchester City´s forward David Silva was the hero in both of these games as he netted four goals in them. But Spain has a world-class option for almost every post in every department, which is why they rank among the best teams in the world. Historically, the Spaniards keep a favourable record against Italy but the last head-to-head affair between these two sides was dominated by the Italians. The defeat Spain suffered at the hands of Italy at the EURO 2016 was very painful and they will surely try to get a revenge on Thursday.


The Juventus Stadium in Torino will host what is expected to be one of the most stand-out fixtures of the World Cup 2018 qualifying as it will witness a great battle between two traditional rivals Italy and Spain. Both of these sides claimed wins in their openers but only one of them can keep up the winning run as they will go head-to-head with each other in the upcoming duel. Will Italy make the home advantage count to produce another impressive victory over the star-studded Spain? Or will the Spaniards meet the role of the favourite this time? We will know by Thursday night.
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