10 June 2012

Game Preview: Spain v Italy

Spain are the bookies' favourites for both the competition and this match; Betfair have Spain at 1.8 (4/5).  Neither team have lost a match in the qualifiers, and they both scored more than 2 goals per match.  The only fly in Spain's ointment being he loss of their striker of choice, David Villa.

One tactical move to look for in the match can be gleaned in this quote from Prandelli:

"De Rossi is totally convinced about his ability to play centre-back," Prandelli said. "He has played there for Roma and if he had to play in this position he won't simply be a defender but a defensive midfielder. We want to use him in this position because during the match we could make tactical changes.

Italy can therefore be expected to flood the midfield to prevent Spain from playing.  As this will probably be Italy's most difficult match, I have a suspicion that it could be a low scoring affair.  Italy will be looking to get the ball to Pirlo and then on to whoever is chosen up front.  Balotelli anyone?

Injuries and Suspensions

Italy have Andrea Barzagli unavailable (he may be replaced in the squad).

Spain have no injury concerns

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