thumbnail Hello,
Live

European Championship

  • July 1, 2012
  • • 2:45 PM
  • • NSK Olimpijs'kyj, Kyiv (Kiev)
  • Referee: Pedro Proença
  • • Attendance: 63170
4
FT
0

Euro 2012 Preview: Spain - Italy

Euro 2012 Preview: Spain - Italy

Getty Images

European glory beckons at Kiev's Olympic Stadium on Sunday night as the reigning champion goes head-to-head with the Azzurri.

  PROBABLE LINE-UPS

SPAIN

Casillas
Arbeloa, Pique, Ramos, Alba
Xavi, Busquets, Alonso
Silva, Fabregas, Iniesta

ITALY

Buffon
Abate, Barzagli, Chiellini, Balzaretti
Marchisio, Pirlo, De Rossi
Montolivo
Balotelli, Cassano

Spain boss Vicente del Bosque is expected to have a fully-fit squad for the Euro 2012 final showdown with Italy. The 61-year-old's biggest selection dilemma is likely to be over whether to field a recognized striker after Alvaro Negredo's anonymous performance in the semifinal win over Portugal.

With Fernando Torres seemingly out of favor, and with Fernando Llorente yet to make an appearance at the tournament, Cesc Fabregas could be restored to a 'false nine' role up front alongside Andres Iniesta and David Silva.

Italy defender Ignazio Abate, who missed the semifinal win over Germany with a muscle injury, is likely to return to fitness in time for the final, while fellow fullback Christian Maggio is also available after serving a one-match ban.

Coach Cesare Prandelli may persist with the same formation that served him well against the Germans rather than revert to the unorthodox 3-5-2 line-up used in the opening match against Spain. AC Milan-bound Riccardo Montolivo is likely to keep his place in the team ahead of Thiago Motta after an assured performance in the semifinal.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Spain is bidding to become the first team in history to win three successive major tournaments (Euro 2008, World Cup 2010 and Euro 2012) and the first to retain the Henri Delaunay trophy.
  • La Roja are contesting their fourth European Championship final (1964, 1984, 2008 and 2012). They have lost just one (1984).
  • Vicente del Bosque's side has gone 19 competitive games without defeat and has won its last nine knockout matches at major tournaments without conceding a goal.
  • However, the Iberian outfit has not registered a competitive win over Italy in nearly a century (with the penalty shoot-out success in the quarterfinal of Euro 2008 classified as a draw). Its record in 11 previous meetings is W1, D5, L5, with the sole victory coming in the sides' first ever encounter at the 1920 Olympic Games.
  • Italy is competing in its third European Championship final (1968, 2000, 2012). It has won just one (1968).
  • The Azzurri are facing Spain for the 31st time, with their record in prior encounters reading W10, D12, L8. The sides' most recent meeting was in its opening match in this tournament, which finished as a 1-1 draw.
  • Italy has won just two of their last eight matches in regulation time, but is yet to lose a competitive fixture under Cesare Prandelli.
  • With his double against Germany, Mario Balotelli (pictured right) became the first Italian to score three goals at a single European Championship.

Related

Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
Head to Head
International Friendlies ‎(FR)‎ Mar 5, 2014 Spain 1 - Italy 0
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
FIFA Confederations Cup ‎(FCC)‎ Jun 27, 2013 Spain 0 - Italy 0
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
European Championship Qualification 2012 ‎(EC)‎ Jul 1, 2012 Spain 4 - Italy 0
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
European Championship Qualification 2012 ‎(EC)‎ Jun 10, 2012 Spain 1 - Italy 1
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
International Friendlies ‎(FR)‎ Aug 10, 2011 Italy 2 - Spain 1
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
1Iker CasillasGoalkeeper
3PiquéDefender
15Sergio RamosDefender
-Arbeloa
6Jordi AlbaDefender
6Andrés Iniesta LujánMidfielder
8XaviMidfielder
10Cesc FàbregasMidfielder
14Xabi AlonsoMidfielder
16BusquetsMidfielder
21David SilvaMidfielder
-Víctor Valdés
23Pepe ReinaGoalkeeper
2Raúl Albiol Defender
-Javi MartínezMidfielder
5JuanfranMidfielder
20Santi CazorlaMidfielder
-Jesús Navas González
11PedroStriker
9Fernando TorresStriker
-Negredo
13Juan MataStriker
-Fernando Llorente

From the web

From the web