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Euro Cup Final Betting Prediction - Spain Tries To Defend Its European Championship

Posted by Todd Shale on 6/29/2012 4:45:47 PM

The Spanish national football team is trying to become the first team in the history of international football to win three straight major tournaments. Italy stands in the way on Sunday.

Euro 2012 Championship Match: Spain vs. Italy – Sunday, July 1
Sports betting line: N/A

Why Spain Will Win

When you place a bet on a soccer match after looking at any of several betting sites, you have to look at the consistency and excellence in Spain's recent track record. Spain embarrassed itself so many times on the international stage over the past 25 years, but recent times have been quite different. This team is a defensive giant. Spain didn't allow a goal in 120 minutes in its World Cup final victory over the Netherlands two years ago, and in this tournament, little has changed for the team that also shut out Germany in the 2008 European Cup final. Spain has allowed only one goal in this entire tournament – to Italy in its first preliminary-round game.

The Spaniards have proceeded to shut out Ireland, Croatia, France (in the quarterfinals), and then Portugal in the semifinals on Wednesday. The Spaniards did not play well in the regulation 90 minutes, but their defense held firm. In the 30 minutes of extra time, they solidly outplayed the Portuguese and looked like the best team in the world. It says a lot about a team that it could not play its best game yet still pitch a shutout. It also has to be noted that Spain also has an extra day of rest for this game, having played on Wednesday, whereas Italy contested its semifinal versus Germany on Thursday. There are plenty of reasons to pick Spain in this game. The champions are champions until proven otherwise… largely because of their defense, and also because of their top-notch goalkeeper, "Saint" Iker Casillas.

Why Italy Will Win

When you place a bet on an international football clash of this magnitude, trust the team that's playing better football at the moment. Spain survived Portugal on penalty kicks in the semifinals of this tournament, but Italy decisively outplayed Germany in a 2-1 win that easily could have been 4-1 had the Azzurri buried some chances in the final 15 minutes of regulation. Italy was spectacular on the pitch against Die Mannschaft, eviscerating the German defense with balletic moves, long passes, and bold finishing from leading scorer Mario Balotelli, who shrugged off a poor preliminary round to carry his team into the final.

Gianluigi Buffon is playing like the best goalkeeper in the world. Andrea Pirlo, who scored a remarkable penalty kick goal in Italy's quarterfinal win over England on Sunday, made a key save early in the Germany match by standing near the left post and clearing a shot that had gotten past Buffon. Pirlo, Balotelli and Buffon are playing better than anyone on Spain. That should give Italy a really good chance to win.

Click here for ample information on the latest sportsbook odds in Euro 2012.

Who Will Win?

While Spain is a proven champion, Italy is genuinely playing better at the moment. The Italians were not severely tested by Germany after the first 15 minutes of that match. They'll have plenty in the tank and will score a win over La Roja.

International Football Betting Pick: Italy


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