Sixteen teams and over thirty matches in this month’s Euro 2012 Championship have all boiled down to this; the Final. Spain, many peoples favourites to win the competition before it even began, will take on an Italy side not given a cat in hell’s chance of reaching the final amidst a tough group and tough games against England and then Germany en route to the final, but Balotelli and crew are writing their own script, and go into the Final determined to cause an upset.
The Match will be played on Sunday the 1st July, and can be seen on BBC One, or listened to on BBC radio Five Live, Kick Off time is 7.45PM GMT.
Spain could continue to turn heads by opting against playing an out and out striker, it is expected that they will prefer Cesc Fabregas to Fernando Torres and try to play through the Midfield once more as Del Bosque continues with his revolutionary approach to tactics. Alvaro Negredo did start the match against Portugal as a Striker, but is not expected to keep his place in the starting XI.
Italy are faced with far more dilemmas with injury and selection, Ignazio Abate missed the Semi Final with injury, Mario Balotelli struggled with cramp and Antonio Cassano is carrying a twisted knee. All three are expected to play through the pain for the sake of their countries in what could be a once in a lifetime match for the players.
The odds truly are stacked against the Italians. Spain are unbeaten in 11 Euro matches, having won the last Championship and made it to the final in this, a new record that they will be looking to add to on Sunday evening. Dont expect a goal fest though, historically, games between the two nations are low scoring, and with the Defensive Italians not faced with a piercing centre forward I expect that the match will stay tight. Out of the last 10 meetings between the nations, seven of them have remained goalless at half time, what odds on that record being added to in this clash of the titans?
I think it’s safe to say that many of the mutuals will be rooting for the Italians in this fixture in the hope that somebody can buckle Spain’s world domination at least temporarily, with Andrea Pirlo and Mario Balotelli in the form of their careers, and having swept aside a rock solid German squad, perhaps the Italians deserve to lift the trophy come Sunday night.