Spain vs Italy Euro 2012 Final betting
Italy may just have won the neutral war at Euro 2012, and that is down to their refreshing style change, and also the wonderful, artistic and peerless Andrea Pirlo. His midfield compatriots deserve credit, Montolivo has justified his inclusion with great work at both ends of the pitch, but no man has controlled a midfield this tournament like Pirlo, dictating both knockout ties like he was dancing on ice. View all the free bets available for this match.
However, the man the media could not ignore, even before his match winning performance against Germany, has been Mario Balotelli. But that semi-final brushed away the antics and displayed the explosive talent of the Manchester City forward, using head and explosive right foot to lead Italy into half time with a 2-0 lead.
Italy are now an attacking side, yet showed in the second half with Germany that they can still do what the Italians always have, defend with an irresistible force. They have grown better with every game, which is usually the mark of champions, and must be confident they can take the trophy.
The first team to reach three major international tournaments in a row, it is getting easier to argue the case that this Spain side is the greatest international team in history. They have efficiently done as the Spanish now do, pass their way through games in their own style. This feat has also been achieved without two key players, namely Carlos Puyol and striker David Villa.
The latter has been key to a shift in Spanish style and public reaction out in Poland/Ukraine. Dissenting noises have been heard as Spain keep the ball, often without making ground, just keeping possession. When it all goes right it is like music, but the crowds have found some of the slower play a bit dull. With Villa injured, they have played without a striker, using midfielders as false number nines, and this has stopped some of their better work being finished off.
But the Spanish march continues. They may have struggled to see of Portugal, but they won, and like Italy they are showing champion’s traits.
Match Prediction: Spain Win – 2.15 William Hill
Whilst both teams have many positives coming into this game, Spain will have learned more from their draw with Italy than the Italians did. Italy will want to try the same tactics, or at least style of play, to stop the Spanish threat while creating their own. Spain, the best technical team in the world, will find different ways to attack the Italians, and still find that possession is the best form of defence.
On top of that, it is not often you get a price of over evens on the Spanish. Whilst they may have been held by Portugal for 120 mins, and taken into extra time at the 2010 World Cup, there is some value here.
Pirlo has certainly stamped his authority on games in the centre of midfield, but Spain’s high pressing line and the wonderful duo of Xavi and Iniesta are more than a match for him, and Spain’s champion experience could be key. Italy have grown into the tournament, as have Spain to a lesser degree, but Spain have also seemed so confident in their methods in any situation, and will do as champions do and back themselves confidently under the pressure of a final.
Their 1-1 draw in the opening game for each side was not full of chances, and goals could be at a premium. If you were to back one team to make an opening it would have to be Spain, and maybe the roaming Iniesta will come up trumps in a major final again.
Over/Under: Under 2.5 Goals – 1.44 Betfred
First Goalscorer: Andres Iniesta – 13.00 William Hill
Correct Score: 1-0 Spain – 6.00 Stan James
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