18:45 GMT 02 September 2017
As international fixtures have returned for the 2017/18 season, there are still places at next summer’s World Cup up for grabs. In Group G, it’s the clash between Italy and Spain that has taken the world’s attention. The clash of two of the best national teams will decide who goes top of group G as both sides are on 16 points after six games. They have both won five of the six games and drawn the other one so far, the draw came in the earlier fixture between the sides last October.
As you would imagine, this fixture has been close in recent years. Both sides have picked up a win each in the last five meetings with three games that couldn’t be decided. The last game was earlier on in this qualifying group as a Vitolo opener was cancelled out by a Daniele De Rossi penalty in a 1-1 stalemate. The recent matches have been close with none of the last five ending with more than 2.5 goals.
A win for Spain in this one would be perfect as it would put them top of the table with just three games left. They welcome the return of their all-time leading goal scorer, David Villa to the fold while Marco Asensio will be hoping to take his excellent Real Madrid form into the match. Diego Costa isn’t included in the squad.
Latest matches: Spain
It is just as vital for the Italians to pick up all three points in this fixture as it can also put them top of the group. They are without their star defender, Giorgio Chiellini for the clash which will be a big absence. Other than that, they look in good spirits for the match.
Latest matches: Italy
It is an incredibly tough match to call between two of the superpowers in international football. With home support, it is Spain’s match to lose but Italy will certainly be dangerous on the counter attack. There’s so much on the line for both teams so they won’t be giving anything away during the early exchanges of the game. It is expected to be very close and low scoring but Spain should take the win.
02 September 2017 - 18:45 GMT
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