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Spain Hosts Italy in Potential Group G Tiebreaker

A massive heavyweight tilt takes place on Saturday when Spain hosts Italy in World Cup qualifying action at the Santiago Bernabeu. The two World Cup-winning sides are tied atop Group G at 16 points apiece through six games played and if either team earns all three points from this contest, a berth to the finals in Russia will be all but locked up.

SHARK BITES
  • Spain outshot Italy 13-7 in their last World Cup qualifier last October.
  • There's been an average of 1.6 goals in Italy and Spain's last 5 matches.
  • Spain is unbeaten in its last 7 home matches against Italy in all competitions.

As -125 moneyline favorites at Bovada, Spain is expected to come away victorious with Italy being offered at +370 by the shop. The Italians’ three-game unbeaten streak against Lopetegui’s squad muddies the waters a bit, though, and the margins between the teams are razor-thin.

No more than two goals have been scored in the two countries’ last five international meetings so don’t expect a barnburner in this one with so much on the line. Italy will sit deep in an attempt to absorb the Spanish attack and counter with a dangerous group of forwards when the opportunities present themselves.

When Spain and Italy last clashed in World Cup qualifying almost a year ago, the two sides walked away with one point each after a 1-1 draw in which Spain relinquished a late lead. The Spaniards had the majority of the chances at Juventus stadium but a backline of Leonardo Bonucci, Andrea Barzagli and Alessio Romagnoli held firm in front of keeper Gianluigi Buffon.

Spain’s all-time top scorer David Villa will be available for the contest after his recent call-up to the national team but I wouldn’t bet on him to draw the start with Real Madrid star Marco Asensio and Real deportee Alvaro Morata both available for the contest.

This is a tough one to call but I just can’t see either side chasing a result. The Italians need points and goals if they’re going to pass Spain in the group but it’s unlikely they open themselves up at the back to achieve that. A draw wouldn’t be the most shocking result and at +235 I’ll absolutely have a punt.

2018 World Cup Qualifying: Spain vs Italy
TeamSpreadMoneylineTotal Sets
Spain-0.5 (-130)-125OVER 2 (-125)
Italy+0.5 (+105)+390UNDER 2 (EVEN)
Draw +235 

Odds as of August 31 at Bovada

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