Spain(0)AH vs. Italy(0)AH - Preview
Final of Euro 2012, and conclusions about this tournament can finally be given. From my point of view Group C was the strongest in this competition, and Croatia showed enough quality to have played a semi-final here if they would have been placed in a different group. There were many dissapointments, teams like Netherlands, Poland, Ukraine, France, England and I would even add Germany were not at their full potential, so I see this Euro as a dissapointment. Given this, it\'s no surprise to see Spain once again playing the Final, as they did not have to face much opposition on their way here. France was easy as pie, Portugal was a bit tougher because from my point of view they had the best defence in this competition, but their inability to convert scoring chances made them lose the game against Germany 1-0, as well as losing on penalties to Spain.
And about Italy here... good midfield displays, I would say they are rivaling Spain in the passing department, only difference is that Spain has a better ball possesion and can express their passing game more. But I do believe their defence is slightly overrated here. Germany lost their semi-final mainly mentally. Once Italy got the opening goal, the Germans blocked, and despite finding themselves in good passing, crossing positions, they simply failed to create much danger to Buffon. This could also be seen in their group game with Portugal. Only difference was that the Germans felt at ease with a 0-0, not panicking and finally managing a pretty lucky goal, while here at 0-1 they mentally cracked.
And now about the match itself... we had a sample of what these 2 nations produce against eachother in the 1-1 draw in Group C. 60% possesion for Spain. Italy had some very good counters, and Pirlo produced some great passes to destabilize the Spain defence. But it was the opening game for both teams at this Euro, the Spanish defenders didn\'t really seem that focussed, Busquets and Ramos losing balls in dangerous areas, while the Italians looked foccused from the start. I make these arguments, because since that opening game, the Spanish defence has constantly improved and they haven\'t conceded a single in their road to the final.
I would also like to note that Spain has\'t really pushed themselves hard to reach this stage. The only moment when they did actually pushed a bit was in extra-time against Portugal, and should have gotten the winning goal if not for a bit of bad luck.
On the contrast Italy has pushed hard in every game till now. Their counter-attacking style of play hasn\'t really been extremelly productive in terms of goals, and their defence like I said above, I consider overrated. Spain faced fewer problems in breaking their defence, than they did for example in breaking Croatia, France or Portugal. Torres had 2 one on one situations with Buffon. While the tricksters in midfield found plenty of space in their overcrowded defence, where Germany failed to find, except for Ozil maybe, but he was alone to that task, Spain has the entire armada skilful in such a task.
Because of this, I simply do not see Italy winning this game in normal time, and consider the DNB on Spain at 1.50 a free-bet which I gladly take.
As a last note, if Italy was underrated against Germany in the semi-finals, now in the Final against Spain I see their odds overrated.
This bet does not exclude that Italy may win the title, I just simply do not see them winning in normal time, and like I said above, free-bet.
Home win @ 1.50 Stake: 4/4
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