La Furia Roja are becoming old hands at reaching the final of major tournaments after being the perennial bridesmaids for so long, with the Spanish now looking to secure a third consecutive triumph following wins in 2008 and 2010.
Vicente del Bosque’s side had some fortune to beat Portugal on penalties in their semi-final although they are now 11/10 (bet365 £200 free bets) to win the final of Euro 2012.
Del Bosque will have a selection headache for the sixth game running and it’s likely that the Spain manager will dispense with Alvaro Negredo and potentially field Fernando Torres who seemed to cause the Azzurri defence a few problems when the teams met a fortnight ago.
On that occasion, the game finished 1-1 and it was the Italians that took the lead after creating plenty of chances, something that might encourage a few people to back Cesare Prandelli’s side to claim an unlikely triumph.
Italy could have been backed at around 20/1 to win Euro 2012 before the tournament began and a 3-0 friendly defeat against Russia suggested these odds were about right, although a penalty shoot-out win against England was no more than they deserved in the quarter final.
Prandelli’s team produced their finest performance of the tournament to beat an overconfident Germany side and it will be interesting to see whether they revert back to three at the back against Spain which will afford them an extra player in midfield.
Italy are an 11/4 chance (Paddy Power free bets) to win in normal time and Andrea Pirlo will be looking to cap off an amazing tournament which has seen the Juventus veteran light up Euro 2012 ever since playing a slide rule pass through to Di Natale to open the scoring against the Spanish.
Obviously there is a reasonable possibility that the game will end all square and bet365 offer 9/4 about the draw in normal time, while Spain are a best price 8/15 (William Hill) to lift the trophy compared to the 8/5 on offer about the Azzurri.
Mario Balotelli has come out of nowhere to become favourite to claim the Euro 2012 Golden Boot and needs just one goal to probably claim the prize considering that Fernando Torres, Cesc Fabregas and Xabi Alonso are a goal behind him.
The Manchester City striker is 7/1 to score the first goal of the game, while Antonio Cassano can be backed at the same price and perhaps Torres will get a chance to stake a claim in the final having been sidelined for Chelsea in the Champions League final.