Cudicini: Spain struggles could give Italy impetus

The Italian shotstopper believes that his home country can cause an upset against the world and European champions due to their below-par performances in Poland and Ukraine

Tottenham goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini believes that Spain’s perceived struggles at Euro 2012 could leave Italy with the chance of causing an upset in Sunday's final.

The European and world champions have been far from their scintillating best throughout the tournament, but have still managed to make their third consecutive tournament final in a row – only the second time a national side has achieved such a feat since West Germany in the 1970s.

But, Cudicini believes that Spain are yet to hit their stride and that this should provide Italy with some hope, especially after the confidence-boosting 1-1 draw between the two sides in the group stage.

"It's another very tough game to call," Cudicini told the club's official website.

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"Spain are the European and world champions and as everyone knows, they are very difficult to play against but I was very impressed with Italy's performance against Germany.

"I have to say, if you said before the tournament that we'd be talking about Italy taking on Spain, I wouldn't be sure but Spain seem to be struggling a little.

"They've been playing the system without a striker and they haven't quite looked themselves.

"Italy were brilliant against Germany on Thursday so as I said, it's tough to call."

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has sprung a few surprises throughout the tournament with changes to the side's formation and his team selections.

Despite having previously started with 3-5-2 against Spain in their earlier encounter, Cudicini is not expecting the head coach to revert back to an experimental system for the final.

He continued: "They've returned to the more familiar 4-1-3-2 and they've beaten England and played really well in beating Germany, so I don't think they will go back to that system."