Leonardo Bonucci believes Spain are stronger than Italy - “it’ll take a game like at the Euros”.
The Azzurri beat La Roja 2-0 in the Last 16 stage at Euro 2016, and will renew hostilities in World Cup qualifying on Thursday.
“Who is the favourite?” Bonucci considered in a Press conference at Coverciano.
“It’s still them, they have the better players, you just have to look at their squad to understand the real strength Spain have.
“To upset the odds it’ll take a game like at the Euros, with running and cutting-edge.
“You can play two great matches against Spain, but if you drop points against Albania and Macedonia... We know the Spanish are favourites for the group.
“Running out at Juventus Stadium is a special emotion, it feels like mine, it gives me a different energy to other stadia.
“They’ll have new motivation, different physical condition and they’ll want to avenge the defeat at the Euros. We’ll have to do more than we did against Israel.
“It won’t be decisive, but it’s important to test our qualities and make sure our path to Russia doesn’t become complicated.”
Bonucci missed a friendly against France last month, as his son was gravely ill, but thankfully he pulled through.
“What I’ve been through in the last few months has given me a lot of strength. I thank my son and my wife, we fought hard together.
“Matteo has given me so much strength, as have Lorenzo and my wife. These are the moments when you grow, the real important things.
“I can understand some criticism or discussion, scolding or grumbling, because there is always room to improve, but there are more important things in life than a bad clearance.”