Will Spain overpower Italy?

Spain take on Italy in a crucial World Cup qualification game on Wednesday night, and this match could potentially decide the winner of the group.

Both teams come into the game level on points after having taken 16 from the six matches so far. The only factor that has kept Spain at the top of the table is the slightly better goal difference. Italy, though, will be aware that any negative result at the Santiago Bernabeu will end hopes of reaching the World Cup 2018 through the automatic qualification places. Only the team that finishes top of the group will be able to reach the finals, while the second placed team will have to reach the competition by winning a play-off.

The latter is like a lottery and Italy are keen to avoid this element. Manager Giampiero Ventura has seen Italy dominate recent matches, but Spain are a different proposition. The 2010 World Cup champions will be keen to revive their former glory days, and the manager Lopetegui seems to be hinting at the same after bringing back David Villa to the national team. The record goalscorer for the national team has been unavailable for international selection in the last two years.

However, his form with MLS outfit New York City appears to have been a major factor behind bringing the 35-year-old back to the national team fold. Should Spain qualify, tickets for the Finals will be available through this link, with Villa set to bow out of international football at the end of the tournament.

One can consider backing both teams to score in the game, although Italy have conceded just one goal in the last five. The opposition are extremely strong coming into the game. Hence, one can back this selection at odds of 6/5. Another great pick would be to back the scheme to produce a draw. The Braveheart can even consider going with a 2-2 draw, which is given odds of 18/1 for a victory.

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