Italy ex­pect venge­ful, more mo­ti­vated Spain in World Cup qual­i­fier

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

ITALY DE­FENDER Leonardo Bonucci ex­pects a “more mo­ti­vated” Spain to come seek­ing re­venge for their early exit at Euro 2016 when the sides meet in a mouth­wa­ter­ing 2018 World Cup qual­i­fier in Turin to­day.

Italy host La Roja at Ju­ven­tus Sta­dium in what is their first meet­ing since Spain’s 2-0 last-16 de­feat to the Az­zurri at the Stade de France in June ended their hopes of a record third con­sec­u­tive Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship crown.

Both have since un­der­gone coach­ing changes, Gi­ampiero Ven­tura re­plac­ing An­to­nio Conte at the Italy helm and Julen Lopetegui step­ping in for Vi­cente del Bosque.

While Spain put eight unan­swered goals past min­nows Liecht­en­stein in their open­ing Group G qual­i­fier in Leon last month, 10-man Italy re­turned from Is­rael with the points from a bat­tling 3-1 win in Haifa.

In his sec­ond com­pet­i­tive game in charge, af­ter suc­ceed­ing now-Chelsea man­ager Conte dur­ing the sum­mer, Ven­tura is un­der pres­sure to de­liver.

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