Italy vs SpainUEFA Nations League, KO: 19:45 Oct 6, 2021, San Siro
ITALY have suffered a bit of hangover since their night of Wembley glory at Euro 2020, winning just one of their next three games, but this Nations League semi-final with Spain should spark them back to life.
It's a repeat of their epic last-four showdown with the Spanish at the Euros, a game which ended 1-1 before the Azzurri triumphed on penalties, a trick they repeated in the final against England.
That run of stalemates continued into the World Cup qualifiers for Roberto Mancini's men with draws against Bulgaria and Switzerland, with our man Tolu cashing in by backing that second game to end level. But Italy found their shooting boots again to thrash Lithuania 5-0 last time out and will hope that free-scoring form continues here.
Now it's back to the Nations League and a place in the final awaits the victors of this intriguing tie with the Spanish. Luis Enrique is feeling the heat a little in Spain after a World Cup qualifying defeat to Sweden left their hopes of automatic qualification in jeopardy.
Although Spain still top their group by four points, the Swedes have two games in hand and it looks like the final qualifier between those nations in Seville will end up deciding who reaches Qatar and who needs to enter the play-offs.
That matters a lot more than winning the Nations League but Enrique will still be looking for a morale-boosting victory over the new European champions as his side chase revenge.
How the bookies view it
There was nothing between these sides at the Euros and plenty of punters will fancy another stalemate at 12/5 with Betfred. Italy are 13/10 favourites at SkyBet with home advantage while Spain are a best 11/4 with Bet365.
Head to head
That Euro 2020 semi-final (below) was the third 1-1 draw in the last five meetings of these nations. The other two games ended in a 3-0 Spanish victory and a 2-0 triumph for Italy. The overall head-to-head is dead even, with 10 draws and five victories apiece.
Players to watch
Federico Chiesa scored for Italy against Spain at Wembley and is a player who rises to the big occasion. He also netted in the draw against Bulgaria and scored a superb winner for Juventus against Chelsea in the Champions League. Chiesa is 13/5 with McBookie for anytime scorer and that looks decent value.
Manchester City kid Ferran Torres has scored in Spain's last two games and is the only forward who seems to start regularly for Enrique. Torres is 31/10 with McBookie for a goal and that also seems to be a good price.
Anything else catch the eye?
It wouldn't be a huge surprise if this match went all the way to penalties again and backing either team to win in a shootout pays 5/1 with SkyBet. Betting on the half-time draw is a bit safer and that's priced 42/41 with SBK.
Only five yellows have been flashed in total across the last two meetings and that makes under 3.5 cards a decent option here at 23/20 with McBookie.
This UEFA Nations League match between Italy and Spain will be played on Oct 6, 2021 and kick off at 19:45. Check below for our tipsters best Italy vs Spain prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.