Spain v Italy Betting Tip Spain over 7 corners – Sunday 1st July 2012

Iniesta (Spain)
Iniesta (Spain) © GEPA pictures

Spain v Italy

After a tense and very fraught semi-final against Iberian
rivals Portugal, Spain made it through to their third straight final in a major
International tournament. Cesc Fabregas was the hero scoring the winning penalty
and sending his nation through. It was a very similar match to their group game
against Croatia as Spain got stronger as the game went on. They had a couple of
chances in the first half but that was more down to mistakes from Portugal
rather than their own good play. By extra time the Spanish looked much the
stronger side and that is down to the fact they keep the ball for so long and
make the opposition run much further than they have to. Vincent Del Bosque’s
men may not have made all that many opportunities of their own throughout the
game but they never offered many to Portugal either. Iker Casillas never had a
significant save to make and his goal has not been breached since the opening
game of their tournament – against Italy.

Mario Balotelli showed the world the best side of him with
two excellent goals against Germany in the semi-final which saw his country
through to Sunday’s final. The Manchester City striker has courted controversy
throughout his short career but there is no doubting his talent and he
showcased it to the full extent against many people’s favourites for the competition.
Balotelli and his team-mates turned in a masterful performance and thoroughly deserved
their win. Out of all the sides that competed in Euro 2012, Italy have
progressed with every match and fully deserve their placing in the final.
Cesare Prandelli should also be lauded as his change of formation from a
midfield five to a diamond four has brought the best from the Juventus duo of
Andrea Pirlo and Claudio Marchisio. The former, especially, has been
scintillating in the knockout stages and on the back of a tremendous club
season with Juve, he has shown, once again, that age is merely a number –
providing the fitness is there, a player such as Pirlo will remain threatening
due to his scarily quick mind.

Del Bosque will be aware the threat Italy poses in terms of
going forward as Balotelli and Antonio Cassano both started the group game and
are more than likely to be in the line-up in the final. However, as the
Italians have changed their system since the match on June 10, he will not have
had the chance to experience the dynamic midfield four. Of course he will have
watched videos and the usual preparation but I am sure he would much rather
have faced them in their current style and form beforehand to aid his own

Italy go into this match, again, as underdogs but it’s a
mantle they play to their advantage. When they won the World Cup in 2006 they
were not fancied by many but they stuck together, bonded and got their rewards
in the end. It’s very similar this time around, six years on. Prandelli has
instilled a club like atmosphere amongst his players and they are thriving. The
fact that as many as six of their starting line-up against Germany play their
club football with Juvetnus – and won Serie A last season – has been a huge
bonus as they have carried their winning mentality into the national squad.
Sunday is one more game where they need to surprise everyone but if anyone can
do it, this is the team.

Unbelievably, despite their win, Italy never accrued a
single corner against Germany but the line (10.5) was still well beaten as the
Germans managed 14. This is down to the way Italy defend their area as they
like showing their opponents out wide, away from the box. Spain will not be as
direct as Germany were but they push their fullbacks on and managed seven in
the group match (Italy had two).

Spain will have a lot of possession and the result of that
is they should rack up a decent amount of corners. Spain to have over seven
corners is going to be the play and the bet is available with Ladbrokes and
BetVictor. (Other lines are available and will be under ‘Total home corners’).


Spain Over 7 Corners 3pts, 11/8 @ Ladbrokes


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