There’s a gigantic European Group G World Cup qualifying game at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu in Madrid this Saturday as the top two teams meet when Spain hosts Italy. Spain leads the group with 16 points and a plus-18 goal difference while Italy is level on points with 16 and a plus-14 goal difference. Albania currently sits in third place with nine points followed by Israel with nine, Macedonia with three and Liechtenstein with zero.
Spain vs Italy Odds – bet365 Soccer Betting Line:
- bet365 currently lists Spain as the favorites to win the game at 17/20 with Italy 10/3 and a draw at 12/5
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Spain vs Italy Odds – History Head to Head:
- These two sides last met in Italy in a World Cup qualifier and played to a 1-1 draw in October. They’ve met 36 times in the past with Italy winning 11, losing 10 and drawing 15 while outscoring the Spanish 43-37. Spain has won just two of the last 13 meetings to go with six losses and five draws.
Spain – A Closer Look:
Spain enters the showdown as Group G leaders with 16 points from dive wins and a draw. They’ve scored 21 goals and allowed just three against. The team is currently ranked number 11 in the World by FIFA. Their worst-ever ranking was 25th in March, 1998 while their best ranking was number one at various times from 2008 to 2014. The Spanish side has three wins and two draws in their past five outings in all competition. Their last qualifier took place in June when they beat Macedonia 2-1 away.
Spain is aiming to qualify for the nation’s 15th World Cup appearance since making their international debut in 1920. They won the tournament back in 2010 with a win over Holland. They’ve also won a trio of European Championships in 1964, 2008 and 2012. Spain made its international debut in and is currently managed by Julen Lopetegui with Sergio Ramos as the team’s captain. The team has slipped slightly over the past couple of years, but is still one of the world’s best.
Italy – A Closer Look:
The Italian squad also has 16 points after six qualifying games with 16 points from five victories and a draw. However, their goal difference isn’t as good as Italy’s as they’ve scored 18 and conceded four. Italy is unbeaten in their last five games in all competitions with four straight wins and a draw. Their last World Cup qualifier was a 5-0 home beat down of Liechtenstein in June. The Italian side isn’t known as a high-scoring unit, but excels at the game defensively.
Italy is currently ranked as the 12th-best team in the world by FIFA with their best-ever rating being first in 1993 and 2007 in and their worst being 21st in November of 1959. Since their international debut in 1910, Italy has won the World Cup on four occasions as they hoisted the trophy in 1934, 1938, 1982 and 2002. They were also European Championship winners in 1968. Gian Piero Ventura is the team’s current manager and he’ll be hoping to lead Italy to their 19th World Cup appearance next summer in Russia.
Spain vs Italy Odds – Our Takeaway:
- Italy has had Spain’s number on most occasions over the past few years and a win by either team here will see them take top spot in the group by three points over the loser. There are nine European groups of six teams with the group winners automatically qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The eight second-place teams with the best records will enter a two-game playoff series.