Spain vs. Italy: Preview and TV schedule

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno

Spain and Italy will face off in a repeat of the Euro 2012 final at the Vicente Calderón. New 'signing' Diego Costa is likely to make his debut for the hosts.

Italy will travel to the Vicente Calderón hoping to have better luck against Spain than they did the last twice they played them, when they lost the Euro 2012 final and then suffered defeat in the Confederations Cup.

Both sides are without several key players, although there is a difference. While Alvaro Negredo is unlikely to start, and Juan Mata and Fernando Torres are out of the squad for Spain, that is simply due to having been dropped for what Vicente Del Bosque perceives as superior options in the likes of Diego Costa, who could make his debut for the hosts, having controversially decided to shun Brazil.

Italy, meanwhile, will be without key players Mario Balotelli and Daniele de Rossi due to injury and disciplinary issues respectively. Ciro Immobile could start in Balotelli's stead, with Mattia Destro and Pablo Osvaldo alternative options. Other players with little international experience could feature, from the young (Mattia de Sciglio, Lorenzo Insigne, Marco Verratti) to the not-so-young (Marco Parolo, Davide Astori, and the uncapped 28-year-old Gabriel Palletta.)

Nonetheless, it should give Italy a chance to test out some alternative options - their squad is a deceptively strong one, but they certainly lack the depth of many of their rivals. With both sides headed to Brazil in the summer, they'll need all the preparation they can get.

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