• Spain striker Alvaro Morata shoots the ball against Croatia goalkeeper Danijel Subasic.

Spain striker Alvaro Morata shoots the ball against Croatia goalkeeper Danijel Subasic. (Photo : Getty Images)

A highly-anticipated encounter between two of the tournament's best teams, Italy and Spain, is taking place on Monday, June 27 at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis as they drew each other in the round-of-16 phase of the 2016 UEFA European Championship.

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World no. 12 Italy and world no. 6 Spain finished first and second in their respective brackets during the group stage, which determined their matchup in the last 16.

Gli Azzurri topped Group E as they opened the tourney with two straight wins, a 2-0 blanking of world no. 2 Belgium and a 1-0 nipping of Sweden, in the first two rounds of competitions.

They surrendered a 0-1 game to the Republic of Ireland in the third round, however, as head coach Antonio Conte fielded in his second XI during the match at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy in Villeneuve-d'Ascq on Wednesday, the Telegraph reported.

The Italians were assured of the top spot whether they lose or win in their final group stage game so that may be the reason why Conte chose to rest his preferred first team.

Meanwhile, Spain settled for second place in Group D after they were stunned by Croatia in the third round, 2-1, at the Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux in Bordeaux on Tuesday, as per SkySports.

Unlike Italy, Spain entered the game against Croatia in full strength as head coach Vicente del Bosque used the same starting eleven in their two previous wins during the match. Still, La Furia Roja failed to sweep the group matches as the Croatians beat them and took first place in the bracket.

With both teams coming off potentially momentum-decreasing losses and Italy's starting XI back in full force, it would be too close to call who of the two teams will advance in the quarterfinals.

The Spaniards may have gotten a wake-up call from Croatia and if they were able to realize it, they will come away as winners in a very tight, hard-fought, and highly-entertaining contest for the fans.

The predicted result is a close 2-1 decision in favor of Spain.

Italy starting lineup (3-5-2 formation): Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Ogbonna; Bernardeschi, Sturaro, Motta, Florenzi, De Sciglio; Zaza, Immobile

Spain starting lineup (4-3-3 formation): De Gea; Juanfran, Pique, Ramos, Alba; Fabregas, Busquets, Iniesta; Silva, Morata, Nolito