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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.