Coral trader Steve Taylor picks out the best bets in Thursday's Italy v Spain clash.
Two of Europe’s big guns meet here in a friendly that will most likely be used by both coaches as a chance to finalise their squads and strategies, for Euro 2016 which kicks off on June 10th. The most high profile recent game between the two was the 2012 Euro final in Kiev, where Spain ran out comfortable 4-0 winners.
In recent meetings, in competitive internationals, there have been three draws in the last four games and there is a big chance that this friendly could turn out all square too. From a trading and betting point of view, games between the two are often low scoring affairs but the last three friendlies in Italy have been 2-1, 1-1 and 2-2. That is not surprising as the Spanish way of playing is a little more attacking even away from home, so the game opens up a bit more. What about this particular match? Spain did not play their last friendly amid security fears in Brussels so have had a longer break than most squads however they do have a settled unit and are amongst the favourites to win this summer.
Italy re-call Thiago Motta but leave out Andrea Pirlo, Claudio Marchisio and Daniele De Rossi and Conti must still decide on which is his best attacking partnership. Two from Pelle, Eder, Immobile and Zaza is his conundrum. Spain have not conceded in their last six and the solid defence will be looking for another clean sheet to keep the momentum going into the summer. Aritz Aduriz from Athletic Bilbao is a really interesting recruit to the Spanish squad, replacing Diego Costa and it looks like the more settled Spanish side will be a tough nut for the Italians to break down. Neither side will want any significant injuries and with that in the back of everyone’s minds, the game could peter out into little more than a training game.
Advice: All in all it is hard to see an abundance of goals in this match and even harder to imagine Italy scoring more than once if at all. The draw is a real player but the Spanish are a little better organised and of the two, more likely to win it. Under 2.5 goals is the obvious play but @ 4/7 it is a little short and it may be worth chancing a couple of other bets. Spain to win 1-0 @ 11/2 and No goalscorer @ 13/2 offer a little more value and may reward us.