Spain and Italy go head to head in the final of Euro 2012 this Sunday as bookies offer free bets, as both teams look to make history by becoming European Champions this summer, with Paddy Power announcing their Balotelli cashback offer has been a resounding success for punters.
Spain are in their third consecutive major tournament final of course – an achievement in itself – while Italy have battled against the odds and poor preparation to make it all the way to the final.
Looking at Spain to begin with, they are well and truly on course to follow up their success at Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup by going all the way again. This has been a truly remarkable era for this team of course, but even this achievement would be unprecedented.
In their semi-final tie, it was far from a classic against Portugal of course. Neither team could break the deadlock in 120 minutes and in the end it came down to a penalty shoot-out, where Spain were victorious.
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This showed how well they could hold their nerve under pressure and they will be looking to do more of the same against Italy on Sunday.
As for the Italians, well they were excellent in their semi-final against Germany. After failing to take their chances against England – eventually progressing on penalties – they had Mario Balotelli in fine form and his two goals were enough to defeat the tournament favourites.
Cesare Prandelli’s tactics were spot on and even though Germany grabbed a consolation late on, Italy fully deserved their victory. They were professional, solid, classy and showed a unity that not many expected prior to the tournament.
They will fully believe that they can go all of the way too. When the two teams met earlier in the tournament it ended in a 1-1 draw and this should be another tight contest.
Looking at the teams, Spain are likely to bring in Cesc Fabregas after he was left on the bench against Portugal, while Italy will be tempted to remain unchanged.
With the world watching, the Euro 2012 final gets underway from 7.45pm on Sunday evening.