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Italy and Spain will be a hotly-contested matchup in which two teams from two of Europe’s powerhouse nations compete for the grand prize of becoming *checks notes* Nations League finalists.
But in all seriousness, the more interesting line certainly revolves around the continuation of Italian dominance and overcoming classy opposition after their Euros triumph. Their youthful midfield options of Nicolò Barella, Sandro Tonali, Manuel Locatelli and Lorenzo Pellegrini will rival anyone on the planet, while Spain could give a cap to their youngest ever debutant.
Here’s a cheeky Bet Builder to go alongside the action for you, too.
Wednesday 7.45pm: Italy v Spain
Sky Sports Football
The thing about Italy is that they know full-well that Spain can’t resist being Spain. For the Spanish to truly revitalise, they need to drop the psychological burden of always needing the ball, because at the moment, they lack a proper nine – and they’re no longer able to rely on an Andres Iniesta-type player to create high-percentage chances for inverted wingers.
Italy will cherish these moments, soak up pressure and break with a front four that have more legs than a Marvel villain. Moise Kean might be a comedy character to you because of his ill-fated time at Everton, but don’t be surprised if he gets on the scoresheet for his country here.
The fun part about this is that there won’t be enough clear-cut chances for either side to land the overs. Controlled games became the blueprint of this Italian side in the Euros and under the guidance of Roberto Mancini, and that won’t be changing now.
It’s worth noting that part of the reason they’re so solid is because they can’t afford to isolate their back four – they severely lack pace to cover full backs in midfield. So, it’s not as if this is completely flawless, just an overall likelihood.
This is the safest bet you’ll make. You know the story. Full back goes on the overlap; Insigne cuts inside, eyes up the keeper and either sends it straight into his hands, or into top bins. Either way, it’s a shot on target.
And that’s the other side of it. Their biggest problem evolved from never shooting, to never shooting well enough. Now they’re taking an excessive amount of shots from not-so-great areas, only to find them land in the arms of the goalkeeper.
Italy To Win
Under 2.5 Goals
Lorenzo Insigne To Have One Or More Shots On Target
Spain To Have Four Or More Shots On Target
* A Bet Builder on these four best bets pays at approximately 19/1 with Paddy Power. CLICK HERE TO ADD IT TO YOUR BETSLIP.
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