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Spain v Italy Euro 2012 Preview & Tips
Spain and Italy open proceedings for Group C of Euro 2012 when they clash on Sunday, June 10. The game begins at 17:00 GMT.
Defending champions Spain swept through their recent friendly assignments easily. The Red Fury dispatched the likes of Serbia, South Korea, and China to complete their preparations for Euro 2012 in style. In these three games Vicente del Bosque had the luxury of shuffling his players without necessarily undermining his team’s quality; even his second string scares the hell out of other teams.
Spain will not have other concerns after missing David Villa and Carles Puyol to injury. Cesc Fabregas had a knock in the last weeks but he is all clear and should be able to feature for his team in the coming weeks. Italy will be Spain’s biggest challenge in the group game so expect del Bosque to field his best team on the field on their very first Euro 2012 match. There’s no perfect time for the Spaniards to unleash their fury as after Italy, they will have an easier schedule served to them on a silver plate.
Match fixing allegations that rocked the Italian national team during training didn’t help Italy’s cause in preparing well for this summer’s tournament. At some point the effects of such off-the-pitch concern stacked up to the earthquake that forced the postponement of their friendly against Luxembourg. Finally, a friendly loss to Russia 3-0, completed the series of bad omens for the Italians. How will they bounce back from all these?
Off-pitch problems, and now, the Italians will be without Andrea Barzagli. Boasting the strongest defense in the tournament, Barzagli’s absence could force the team to reshape and play in a rather different way. Cesare Prandelli will be hoping that the Azzurri will be able to adapt to the changes in time; time is of the essence for them as they face Spain on the third day of the tournament.
Spain v Italy Betting Preview
Without Barzagli, Italy’s defense could see major changes; thing is, this isn’t where Spain will do them damage first and foremost. An adapted defense could leave the Italians with gaps in midfield, a place where the Spaniards can dominate and win games from. If the Italians want to take anything from this game, it has to be a concerted effort to stifle the Red Fury. But all things in constant, they are the underdogs in this game – Spain looks set to take the first Group C win of the 2012 European Championship.
Verdict: Spain to win, 2-1.
Tip: Spain is favoured to win; odds are at 1.72 for the Red Fury to take all three points from this game. A 2-1 final score in favour of Spain is tipped at 9.00, with Spain-Draw half-time/full-time result at 17.00; you just get the feeling that the Italians will get a consolation goal in here somewhere.
Given the two teams’ proficiency in terms of scoring, the game could go over 2.5 goals at 2.35. Goalscorer-wise, you have a lot of options in here, but Iniesta should be your best be to hit the back of the net at least once in this game. He is at 5.00 to score anytime.
All odds are from Bet365.com (£200 FREE BET!).