As Euro 2012 reaches its climax, a tight final is expected. Willie Duncan is backing La Roja to seal a third successive title with a dramatic extra time win over the AzzurriVicente del Bosque’s Spain side are aiming to make history by becoming the first nation to defend their European Championship crown when they take on Cesare Prandelli’s Italy in Kiev’s Olympic Stadium on Sunday night.
Victory for Del Bosque’s men will also bring Spain level with Germany as the most successful nation in the tournament’s 52-year history, as three-time winners, and would represent an incredible third successive major championship victory for La Roja.
Standing in their way, though, are Italy, who defied the odds to defeat Joachim Low’s Germany on Thursday night and now stand just 90 minutes away from a first European Championship triumph since 1968.
Spain are warm favourites for victory with Bet365 making Del Bosque’s side a 6/5 (2.20) shot to win in 90 minutes while the reigning champions are available with the same firm at just 4/7 (1.57) to lift the trophy again.
The Azzurri can be backed at 11/4 (3.75) with Bet365 to defeat Spain in 90 minutes while Bet365 go 6/4 (2.50) that it is Gianluigi Buffon and not Iker Casillas who lifts the trophy. The same firm have chalked up the 90 minute draw at 21/10 (3.10).
Bet365 offer a tempting 6/1 (7.0) that the match is settled in extra time while the 9/2 (5.50) quote from the same firm for the match to go to penalties is worthy of consideration.
Better value, though, might be the 11/1 (12.0) for Spain to win in extra time or Italy to win in extra time at 14/1 (15.0) with Bet365 while the same firm offer 10/1 (11.0) for either side to win on penalties.
An extremely tight match seems likely and that is reflected in Bet365’s correct score market with a 1-0 win for Spain – the outcome of the Euro 2008 final victory against Gemany – chalked up at just 4/1 (5.0), while a 1-0 win for the Azzuri is available at 13/2 (7.50) with Bet365.
A repeat of the Group C meeting between these sides, which ended in a 1-1 draw is chalked up at a hugely appealing 5/1 (6.0) with Bet365 while the same firm offer the same 5/1 (6.0) quote on the match ending 0-0 at the 90 minute stage – just as it did when these sides met in the Euro 2008 quarter-final.
Mario Balotelli was in sensational form on Thursday as his double booked Italy’s place in the final and the Manchester City striker is the favourite at 13/2 (7.50) with Bet365 to score first while Cesc Fabregas, who is likely to fill the “false nine” berth once more for Spain is available at 7/1 (8.0) with the same firm.
Andres Iniesta, who was Spain’s extra time hero at World Cup 2010, is 9/1 (10.0) to break Sunday’s deadlock. For the Azzuri, Andrea Pirlo is chalked up at a chunky 20/1 (21.0) to seal a memorable tournament in style with the opening goal.
A tense night lies ahead for supporters of both nations and it seems likely that these two sides will prove to be extremely difficult to separate but Spanish superiority may just tell in the end.
|1-1 draw at 5/1 (6.0) with Bet365
Spain to win in Extra Time at 11/1 (12.0) with Bet365
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Willie Duncan is a freelance sports journalist. Willie, from Edinburgh, has covered Scottish football for over 10 years and he specialises in football betting markets from across Europe. You can also follow Willie on Twitter
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