Italy vs Spain:
Euro 2016 – Round of 16
Date: Monday, June 27, 2016,
Kick-off: 17:00 UK Time
Venue: Stade de France (Paris).
Defending champions Spain lock horns with Group E winner Italy in the round of 16 clash of Euro 2016 at the Stade de France in Paris on Monday evening.
Spain went on to win their opening two group games of the tournament scoring 4 goals and conceding nothing. But the La Roja suffered an unexpected defeat in the last group game against Croatia, which cost them the top spot in Group D. Vicente De Bosque’s men will be gunning for their 3rd consecutive quarter final appearance as they meet familiar foes Italy on Monday.
Antonio Conte managed Italy also went through a similar fate like the La Roja in the group games. The Azzurri got the maximum point from their first two games, but succumbed to a late 1-0 defeat to Ireland in their last group game. However, the Italians still managed to finish top of Group E with 6 points and booked their round of 16 date against defending champions Spain.
Italy: Team News
Conte rested a number of players in the last group game against the Republic of Ireland. The likes of Buffon, Chiellini, Bonucci, Eder and Daniele De Rossi will be called back into the starting line-up.
Antonio Candreva is the only player sidelined with injury of Italy as he is still on his way to recovery from the knock picked up during the second group game against Sweden.
Italy: Predicted line up (3-5-2)
Buffon – Chiellini, Bonucci, Barzagli – Darmian, Giaccherini, De Rossi, Parolo, Florenzi – Eder, Pelle.
Spain: Team News
Del Bosque has no injury concerns or players missing through suspension and he is expected to field the strongest possible line-up after rotating his squad in the 2-1 defeat against Croatia on Wednesday.
Spain: Predicted line-up (4-3-3)
De Gea – Alba, Ramos, Pique, Juafran – Busquets, Iniesta, Fabregas – Silva, Morata, Nolito.
Italy vs Spain: Head to Head stats
Italy has failed to defeat Spain in the last 5 meetings between the sides. Spain defeated the Azzurri thrice in those last 5 meetings, while two matches ended in draw.
The last time Italy defeated La Roja in a competitive game was in the 1994 edition of the world cup that took place in USA. The Italian got a late second half goal, courtesy of Roberto Baggio to ensure they defeated the Spaniard with a 2-1 score line and progress to the semifinal of that competition.
In addition, both sides last meeting in the Euro was in the final of 2012 edition, where the Spaniards scored 4 goals against reply to scoop their second consecutive European championship.
Italy vs Spain: Prediction
With a lot of criticism going to this tournament, the Italians have produced a well compact performance. Conte fed a changed side against Ireland in their last game of the group, which many pundits believe to be the main reason for their defeat in that clash. Conte is expected to recall every key player for this round of 16 clash and we could witness a very strong Italian side.
Spain doesn’t seem like the team that lifted this trophy in 2012 and they are no more an unstoppable team. They are in a transition phase and the Italians must fancy their chances despite the poor record against Spain in recent years.
Whenever, the Italians battled with the Spain in recent times, with specific reference to competitive games, the Spaniards had the laugh. This will be playing in the minds of either teams and Spain will go into this game as slight favourites.
But, unpredictability is the beauty of football, and I believe this game could tip towards either sides. But there is a 60% chance for Spain to go through to the quarter finals, let it be after extra time and penalties.
Score Prediction: Italy 0-2 Spain.
- Under 2.5 Goals
- HT- Draw