Aragones: Spain will find it difficult to beat Italy

Vicente del Bosque's men go into the tournament as one of the favourites, but their former head coach feels that the Azzurri will be a tough fixture on Sunday
Former Spain coach Luis Aragones has warned the world champions not to underestimate Italy in their Euro 2012 opener.

Vicente del Bosque's men enter the Group C clash on Sunday as overwhelming favourites, with the Azzurri enduring a string of problems in their build-up to the competition.

Despite a betting scandal and a deadly earthquake blighting Cesare Prandelli's preparations, as well as a 3-0 defeat to Russia a week before the tournament began, Aragones feels Italy will be a daunting opponent.

"It will be difficult against the Azzurri. Let's not forget they have won four World Cups," Aragones told RMC Radio.

"They are a side with important players and a strong midfield. People talk about Spain as favourites, but we must also keep a close eye on Italy."

Croatia and Republic of Ireland make up the remaining teams in Group C, and they kick off their game at 20:45CET on Sunday.