Euro2012 – Spain vs Italy – All the champions
By David, bettingexpert.com | Published
On the field will be the two nations which have won the last two World Cups and the last European Championship. Spain is the freshest on the list and most of those players who helped work for those trophies are still in the squad. However, is it their time to go for changes? After all no other nation has managed to win three consecutive titles over the span of four years.
Spain – Italy Odds: Euro 2012
On the right are odds for the match between Spain and Italy, which will remain visible right until kick off.
Spain – Italy Preview: Euro 2012
Four years is not a stretch of time that calls for radical changes in a team. Most of the pillars of the squad are in their prime and considering the great talent the Spanish possess – probably the best overall quality in that much abundance in Europe – you would have to think twice before backing tradition and stating that they cannot go where others have not before them. From what we can see on the surface it can be a third major title in a row for them.
Underneath, however, complacency may have opened the door for a little idiocy to come into the fray. There had already been claims of how the intense rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona had actually made its way into the national side. Recent statements by players like Xavi and even the manager, Del Bosque, do prove these are not simply rumours thrown to the wind by those who want Spain to go down this time round.
The Italians are not approaching the tournament in the most serene of moods either. Their headaches stem from the penultimate scandal that emerged from their corrupt domestic leagues. This time it is supposed to be even bigger than Calciopoli, when it was mainly Juventus which was involved. A number of clubs are still awaiting verdicts which can affect them harshly, and so are quite a good bunch of players. The names of Italy-bound Buffon and Bonucci have made the headlines whilst, another ex-Juventus man Criscito has already had to abandon the squad.
The old adage would back Italy to triumph in such dire times but, as the friendly match with Russia has proven, they too are human and are greatly affected by such off the field threats. It has therefore become a question of which team will be capable of fighting off its demons better.
Although many speak of the Spanish quality, Italy is not that far behind and perhaps they are better organized at the back too. Prandelli has made exceptions to his football credo by planning something special just for Spain as he reverts off from his traditional four-man defence to one that will be aided by De Rossi’s close cover in front of central defenders Chiellini and Bonucci. In addition both full-backs will be asked to take good care of Spain’s wide men, considered key in how Del Bosque’s men attack the opponent.
It will most likely be a 5-3-2 therefore, with caution the main point on the agenda for Italy. The sacrifice will be Montolivo, who will therefore be taken off the first eleven list. This way Prandelli will essentially be taking off an attacking midfielder from behind his two strikers and instead placing De Rossi in front of defence. This will allow Pirlo to move forward on the field and thus act even more markedly as the main inspiratory for the team. It will be a going back to the origins for him, like when he played for Inter as a playmaker behind the strikers.
Spain – Italy injury news: Euro 2012
Spain have been hit really hard in my opinion with the absence of David Villa. He had always exerted a major role for his nation and with him on the sidelines I suspect goals will be hard to come by. Of course playing the ball around will be a feature of their game but that does not really win matches. Jesus Navas was the main injury concern for Del Bosque a few days ago but he is a fringe player and can be replaced anyway.
Prandelli’s plans did have to be reshuffled time and time again ahead of kick off. With Criscito sent back home it may be Balzaretti, his natural replacement at left-back, who takes on duties on that flank. However, the latest idea is that of having Giaccherini play on that side. He is an attacking midfielder who does possess the speed to play effectively on the wing. As for his defensive qualities, however, he may leave much to be desired.
Barzagli is ruled out for the first two games so he cannot play on the left. Originally he would have been Chiellini’s partner in central defence. Bonucci will be the player to fill in that gap.
Spain – Italy Betting: Euro 2012
Two quality teams with the Spanish widely considered favourites. I believe nobody should underestimate the Italians though. Tactics can be their key to success here and I am liking the De Rossi move. It should keep Spain at bay for long stretches and although possession will not be Italy’s for most of the time Pirlo needs only a few good balls to inspire lethal strikers like Cassano, Di Natale and perhaps even Balotelli if he does embrace humility and understands he has to play for his teammates.
Verdict: Italy 0:0
Spain – Italy Free Bet: Euro 2012
Bet365 are offering a free in-play bet on this match. Place a pre-match bet and you will get a free in-play bet to that same value. Read more about it here.
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