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Euro 2024: Spain vs Italy tips and predictions - Spaniards to edge out rivals in the battle for top spot

Spain and Italy lock horns in Gelsenkirchen on Thursday night (2000 BST) and both sides will be looking to build on their winning starts to the tournament.

When the draw was made in Hamburg back in December, this was the group match that immediately stood out.

In a replay of of the Euro 2020 semi-final, three-time champions Spain take on the reigning and two-time champions Italy.

Both sides kicked off their campaigns with wins and the winner of this one will most likely win the group, therefore it is vital for both teams given that the group winner will play one of the third-placed teams in the round of 16.

The Spanish were impressive in their comfortable 3-0 victory against 2022 World Cup semi-finalists Croatia and one particular player grabbed the headlines. 

Lamine Yamal became the youngest ever player to play at the Euros and the 16-year-old also assisted Dani Carvajal's goal which wrapped up the victory for Spain.

The teenage sensation looked at home on the big stage and has also been a shining light for Barcelona this season with 13 goal involvements in 37 La Liga appearances including eight assists.

With odds of 7/2, we think Yamal to assist a goal is definitely worth a punt. 

Luciano Spalletti's Italy managed to win their opener, but didn't play as well as expected, winning just 2-1 against Albania, who did go ahead in the first minute.

They didn't quite look themselves at the back with the defence lacking the experience and nous of former stars Leandro Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini. 

That was eepitomised by the Albania goal, which came as a result of miscommunication at the back. 

With a bit of a question mark about the Italy defence and the fact that both of these sides were involved in three-goal games in matchday one, over 2.5 goals looks like a decent bet.  

The Italians are the defending champions but they are not as good as they once were, so we think that Luis De La Fuente's side will get the better of them and put themselves in the Group B driving seat.


Team news

Aymeric Laporte will likely miss this one for Spain as he continues to recover from a muscle issue, so Nacho will probably step in at the heart of the defence.

It looks like Lamine Yamal will continue in the front three, along with Alvaro Morata and Nico Williams. 

Nicolo Fagioli did not feature for Italy against Albania due to bruising to his fibula, but he has been training since so he could be involved against Spain.

Nicolo Barella should start for Italy once again as he came through the Albania victory unscathed despite fitness issues prior to the tournament. 


Key stats

- Italy knocked Spain out of Euro 2020 on penalties following a 1-1 draw in the semi-final

- Spain beat Italy 4-0 in the Euro 2012 final

- Spain have won six of their last 10 against Italy (two draws, two defeats)

- This is the fifth consecutive Euros where these two sides have met, having played each other five times in the last four editions of the tournament (two Spain wins, two Italy wins, one draw)


Suggested bets

Spain to win

Lamine Yamal to assist

Over 2.5 goals

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