Italy expect vengeful, more motivated Spain in World Cup qualifier
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.