You can recall that not too long ago, during the Euro 2016 tournament, a ragtag Italian team beat the almighty Spanish side by two goals to nil in the round of 16, thereby halting their drive towards the finals.

Unfortunately, the Italian team was also forced back when they were beaten by Germany on penalties.
Well, we would be watching these two teams go head to head once again on Thursday, with the both of them looking at the possibilities of picking up one automatic berth in readiness for the next World Cup.

The two teams who equally are winners of the World Cup, with Italy holding the 2006 title and Spain with the 2010 title will do whatever they can to ensure that they come out tops in this Russia 2018 World Cup.

Both teams sport one similar characteristic: they both have new coaches after the Euro 2016 came to an end. While Antonio Conte, who currently heads Chelsea at club level handed over the reins of the Italian team management to Gіampіero Ventura, his Spanish counterpart, Vіcente del Bosque was replaced by Julen Lopetegui.

Ventura had not so long ago enjoyed an impressive spell as Torino’s boss before being called to head the Italian team while his counterpart, Lopetegui had been majorly successful coaching Spain’s underage team before handling the reins of Porto for two years.

For Spain’s visit to the Juventus Stadium, Turin on Thursday, a few players in the Italian squad will be notably absent. One is Giorgio Chellini who was shown a red early during Italy’s second half in Israel. Also is Mario Balotelli, who despite his improvement especially with his movement to Nice, is yet to be recalled back to the Italian squad.

In a press conference, Ventura had this to say about Balotelli:

“There is no arguing about hіs technіcal qualіtіes, іt іs everythіng else that іs up for dіscussіon. He has started playing and scoringagain and there is no doubt about hisqualities, but he has to continue giving these performances.”