Spain vs. Italy Preview

The 2012 European Championships in Poland and Ukraine come to a conclusion in Kiev on Sunday evening as reigning champions Spain face Italy, who last won the tournament in 1968.

The two sides met in the group stages of the competition, playing out a 1-1 draw in Gdansk in the first round of matches. Striker Antonio Di Natale gave Italy a deserved lead on the hour mark, shortly after coming on as a substitute, before Cesc Fabregas equalised for the Spaniards soon after.

Vincente Del Bosque’s men go in to the final after their dramatic penalty shoot-out victory over Iberian rivals Portugal on Wednesday evening. The sides played out a goalless 120 minutes before a climax which saw Spain convert four of their five spot kicks, whilst their opponents only managed to hit the back of the net twice.

The holders are the favourites to win the game in ninety minutes, with most bookmakers offering odds of 2.20 (6/5), whilst Italy are best priced at 3.90 (29/10) with Bet Victor. Spain are odds on to lift the trophy, at 1.62(8/13) with Bwin, with Italy outsiders at 2.5 (6/4) with Paddy Power.

Italy sprung the surprise of the tournament by defeating three times champions Germany in their semi-final on Thursday. Striker Mario Balotelli scored twice in the first half to ensure victory for the Italians; Mesut Ozil’s last minute penalty being scant consolation.

Balotelli has now joined four other players on three goals in the race for the Golden Boot, with Sporting Bet offering the best odds of 2.50 (6/4) for him to claim the prize. The Manchester City man is 8.5 (15/2) with Bet Victor to open the scoring on Sunday, behind favourites Cesc Fabregas and Fernando Torres, who can both be backed at 7/1 (8.0).

However, with a tight game expected, you might be more tempted to back there being no goals in 90 minutes, at odds of 7.0 (6/1).

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