What is it about Italy and pulling together in the face of adversity? Just days before Euro 2012 got underway news of yet another Serie A betting scandal broke and three weeks later the Azzurri meet Spain in the final hoping to prevent them winning a third consecutive major competition.

Like the semi-final, Cesare Prandelli’s side head into the game as big underdogs, but we saw that count for very little on Thursday as they made a top-class German side look distinctly average. Mario Balotelli has stepped up when his country needed him most and he’ll relish the opportunity to shine on the biggest of stages. There’s also the small matter of the Golden Boot as his brace against Germany took him to joint top scorer in the competition.

The problem Balotelli faces is that he’s up against a very impressive Spanish defence that has not conceded for nine consecutive competitive knock-out matches. Italy were very strong at the back to keep the competition’s top scorers at bay and they will need Gianluigi Buffon at his imperious best.

Spain were fortunate not to blow it against an inspired Portugal side, but I expect Vicente del Bosque to learn from those mistakes.

Another element that the Azzurri should be very concerned about is that I don’t even think that the Spanish have hit top gear yet. Other than hammering Ireland it’s been difficult for Spain to create too many clear-cut chances. Most of that is because of Del Bosque not trusting Fernando Torres to start up top and we saw from Alvaro Negredo’s last performance that he’s not the right man for the job.

Spain could be just 90 minutes away from making history and they will unlikely face the same pressing from the older Italian midfield. That all means the likes of Xavi and Iniesta will have time to pull the strings from midfield.

At around 2.26 on BETDAQ, Spain are excellent value to win back-to-back European Championships and I reckon they’ll do it with a bit to spare. The 2-0 correct score appeals at 10.5 and is also worth a punt – especially as BETDAQ are commission free on their corrrect score market READ MORE.

Betting on Betdaq – Alan’s Punts:
Back Spain to win at 2.26
Spain to win 2-0 at 10.5

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