Prandelli expects Spain to try and 'suffocate' Italy & insists rivals are not boring

The 54-year-old has revealed that he enjoys La Roja's style of play prior to his side's clash with Vicente del Bosque's men in the Euro 2012 final
 Martin Langer
In Kiev
Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has revealed he thinks Spain will try to "suffocate" his side in the final of Euro 2012 but has dismissed critics of Vicente del Bosque's men who have claimed La Roja are boring.

The Azzurri are set to meet Spain in the Euro 2012 final on Sunday, but the reigning champions come into the game amidst accusations of lacking penetration during their route to the showpiece.

However, the Italian boss has dismissed the suggestions completely and spoke of other teams' fear of the world champions.

"Boring Spain?" he said. "In fact the other teams are afraid and play defensively against them, but they manage to win in the end anyway, so that hasn't really worked either.

"They are not boring at all."

The debate on the best way to try and counter Spain's 'tika-taka' style remains, but the 54-year-old believes ball retention will be vital to his side's success.

"Our main task tactically will be to recover the ball as soon as possible," he continued.

"Where will we recover the ball it would depend on how Spain play, but our main focus will be closing the spaces to prevent them from playing their game, especially in the middle of the pitch."

At the centre of the Spanish style debate has been their use of Cesc Fabregas as a 'false nine' in a 4-6-0 formation, a ploy they have utilised on several occasions.
9/2 Spain are 9/2 to beat Italy 1-0 in the Euro 2012 final with Paddy Power

Prandelli thinks his opposite number will continue to use the same system and added that playing without an out-and-out forward allows the Spaniards to attack through various other avenues.

"I expect the same Spain, the one that suffocates their rivals, it's a team that doesn't receive goals," he added.

"Even if they play without strikers, they attack you from very deep positions, they are very modern and I like the way they play.

"We will try to adapt to the way they play, whether if they use a number 9 or not."

As for his own tactics, the former Fiorentina boss is not considering starting a five-man defence but may switch systems during the match should he see it necessary.

He said: "These last few matches we have been able to maintain a balance, so I'm not thinking on changing to a five-back line, it might happen during the match but we won't play that way from the beginning."