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Super Mario and Italy can sink Spaniards

Posted on by Dave Metcalf

Italy look cracking value at 3/1 to beat Spain in tonight’ Euro 2012 final (7.45pm KO, Live on BBC1 and ITV1).

They put in an encouraging performance against the world champions in the opening game in the Group stages when drawing 1-1, and since then have improved with every game.

Cesare Prandelli’s side has defended strongly in every match but unlike previous Italian sides have also shown plenty of attacking flair.

They easily brushed aside Ireland, outclassed England and fully deserved their 2-1 semi-final win over Germany when playing some terrific football.

The Azzurri are the form team of the tournament, and the stats are also good as far as they are concerned.

Spain have met Italy seven times before in major tournaments and never managed an outright win. Their only success was in a penalty shootout at Euro 2008 in the quarter-finals following a 0-0 draw.

Italy have also lost only two of their last 19 matches outright at Euro finals and I think they have been underestimated by bookmakers who make Spain 11/10 favoruites to retain their crown in normal time.

They also have a midfield maestro in Andrea Pirlo who has been outstanding and dictated the tempo in every game he has played so far. The Juventus player has scored a goal, provided 2 assists and has a remarkable 87% pass success rate.

He really has lived up to his billing as the “Peerless Pirlo” and I can see him setting up plenty of chances for star striker Mario Balotelli who seems to have really come of age in the tournament.

The Manchester City man missed a hatful of chances against England, but made no mistake when bagging two against Germany in a match which saw him raise his game to another level.

He did us a favour when I put him up at 10/1 to score the opener agiants Germany, and I think he is definitely worth sticking with in the first goalscoerer market tonight at a tasty looking 8/1 with Paddy Power.

I think he can lead his team to victory in 90 minutes, as the Spaniards have so far failed to impress me.

Yes, the world and European champions are now unbeaten in 19 (won 17), but both the draws have come at this tournament – 1-1 against Italy in the group stage and 0-0 against Portugal in the semi-finals.

They have not looked at their best, and with coach Vicente del Bosque likely to retain the 4-6-0 formation that didn’t work particularly well against Italians in the group match they will really have to raise their game against a side brimming with confidendce.

Italy to win 2-0 or 2-1 is my idea of the outcome, and those scorelines can be backed at 20/1 and 16/1 with BetVictor.

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