Prediction and odds for the game: Italy (13/10) vs Spain (11/4)
We are backing the home win
When: Wednesday 6 October 2021, Kick-off 19:45
Where: The Giuseppe Meazza
On Wednesday night, two of the giants of European football meet at the Giuseppe Meazza, as European champions Italy host Spain in the first of the two semi-finals of the Nations League.
The European champions have become a formidable team under head Roberto Mancini. The Azzurri head into this clash having now not suffered defeat in their previous 37 matches. Last time out, Italy hammered Lithuania 5-0 in a World Cup qualifier, after drawing their previous outing 0-0 against Switzerland. The victory in their international ended a run of four straight draws after 90 minutes for the home team.
Italy have a good recent record in the Nations League, as they are unbeaten in eight matches in the competition. However, four of those games have finished in draws. The Azzurri have been strong in defence in the Nations League, keeping clean sheets in four of their last five matches in the relatively new competition.
The European champions are undefeated in their five home matches in the Nations League, although four of those games have finished all square. A 2-0 win over Poland in their last home outing in the competition ended that streak on their own patch.
La Roja Furia have gone through something of a transitional period in recent years. Luis Enrique has tried to overhaul his squad by bringing in a talented group of young players, such as Barcelona’s Pedri. The youngster pulled out of the current squad and been replaced by 17-year-old club-mate Gavi in the squad. Another youngster in Villarreal winger Yeremi Pino is also in the squad. The Spanish setup has an exciting feel about it.
Just like their hosts, Spain have been hard to beat of late, as the visitors have lost just once in their previous 17 international matches. They have made easy work of beating Georgia and Kosovo in their last two World Cup qualifiers, recording 4-0 and 2-0 wins respectively. It goes without saying that Italy will offer a much tougher challenge than the minnows.
Spain have a rather inconsistent record in the Nations League, claiming just three wins in their eight outings in the competition, while also winning just one of their previous three. However, that one victory was certainly a signature one, as Enrique’s team humiliated Germany 6-0 in Sevilla.
This is a tough game to call, as Italy are just so solid and well-drilled under Mancini. Meanwhile, Spain are going through an experimental period. When these two teams met at Euro 2020, it was a tight and close game that yielded a 1-1 draw. We predict that this game will be similar. However, we are backing Italy to record a narrow win in a low-scoring game.
Our Tips: We are backing the home win at odds of 13/10 and/or under 2.5 goals scored at odds of 4/6. (All odds are taken from Bet365).
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Who will come out on top between these two European superpowers?