Marchisio confident of Spain victory
Italy midfielder Claudio Marchisio said he is confident Spain will beat Croatia on Monday and help the Azzurri qualify for the quarter-finals.
Italy need to beat Ireland in Poznan in their last group game to stand any chance of making the knock-out stages but even then it will depend to a large extent on the result in Gdansk.
Spain and Croatia are level on points at the top of the group, two points above the Italians.
If they draw and Italy win, all three teams will finish level on points and head-to-head records will decide who progresses.
Italy are particularly worried about the other two sides drawing because a score-draw of 2-2 or higher would ensure both Spain and Croatia emerging from the group and send Italy home early.
But Marchisio, 26, has faith in world champions Spain’s ability to beat Croatia.
“We believe, we have to believe otherwise there wouldn’t even be any point in playing,” he said.
While a Spanish victory would allow Italy to take second place in the group, so too would a Croatian success and Marchisio admits that too is a possibility, although he says it is hard to look beyond the holders.
“Croatia are a very good team but I think Spain are the favourites in that match,” said the Juventus star.
“They’re clearly better, even though Croatia have quality in midfield with (Luka) Modric and hard-working forwards.”