This is a crucial game in Group G of the World Cup Qualifying, with the two joint leaders of the group going head to head. This game looks set to decide who will top the group and who will have to go through the two legged playoff qualifying to cement their place in Russia.
With so much at stake, this game is sure to be full on tension and neither team will want to make a mistake. There is still the chance for someone to slip up, they both have three games left after this one, but they all look winnable and it would be a huge shock if either dropped points in those games.
Spain have not lost yet in their qualifying, winning five games out of their six, the other game was a 1-1 draw away in Italy. They have looked impressive, but the quality of opposition in front of them has not been the greatest, aside from Italy they were handed a very easy group.
Spain will want to avoid the playoffs to qualify for Russia, they could find themselves with a very tough draw in that round and qualification would not be certain for them. That is something their fans will not even want to think about, and having a World Cup without Spain would be very strange.
Spain have three winnable games after the game against Italy, those are at home to Albania and away to Liechtenstein and Isreal. A win here would give them a three point advantage over Italy and would surely be enough looking at who they have left to play in their final three games.
Italy have exactly the same record as Spain in the tournament, winning five out of their six qualification games. The only game they didn’t win was the home draw to Spain, and aside from that they have impressed so far. The quality they have played hasn’t been the best but we all know how good Italy are, they don’t need to prove anything.
Just like Spain, Italy will not fancy qualifying through the playoffs, they could find themselves in trouble if they go down that route. They have every chance of landing a tough draw in the playoffs and that would put their qualification in doubt. Just like Spain, a World Cup without Italy would be very strange.
After this one, Italy have three games that they should win, with home games against Isreal and Macedonia and an away trip to Albania. A win would give them a great chance to top the group, while defeat would more than likely send them into the playoffs.
New Chelsea signing Alvaro Morata looks likely to play in attack for Spain during this game and he is an exciting forward who will be important for his country. Team mate Pedro is likely to line-up alongside him, while veteran David Villa is back in the squad after playing so well in the MLS for New York City.
The attacking play of Italy all focuses around Andrea Belotti, he looks set to be the future of Italian football after hugely impressing for Torino. He is their captain at just 23 and is sure to have a huge career with whichever club he ends up signing for, as well as for his national team.
Top Betting Tips
This game has huge importance at the top of World Cup Qualifying Group G. Although there are four games to go in the group, the final three are very easy for these two teams, so it is this game here that will decide who wins the group, barring any huge shocks. I am convinced that whoever wins this game will win the group, with the loser of the game heading into the playoffs in what will be a tough way of qualifying for Russia.
In what is going to be a very tight game, and a very important one, I am going to back Spain to win this game, although the normal win market offers little value. With that in mind I am going to back a correct score to find some value and the score I am backing is 1-0 to Spain, which can be backed at 5/1 with William Hill.
I think the game will be tight, with the odd goal being enough to separate the teams and hopefully that means the game goes the way of Spain, with a 1-0 victory for them.