Punters siding with Italy to beat Spain 2-1 in Euro 2012 final

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Italy have almost already beaten Spain once so far at Euro 2012 when drawing 1-1 in the group stages and punters are expecting them to get the job done at the second attempt at 14/5.

The Italians are certainly the surprise package of the tournament and they were expected by some punters to fail to progress beyond the group stages, particularly after the match-fixing allegations which became public just prior to the tournament.

These punters will feel slightly foolish now, especially after the semi-final success over Germany.

Although Germany were largely expected to win, the fact that Italy had never lost to them in a competitive meeting was a reason why they were given a chance of victory.

Their record over Spain is almost as good, avoiding defeat against them inside 90 minutes in all competitive meetings since 1920.

The last time Italy beat Spain in a competitive game though was in 1994, when Roberto Baggio netted a late goal in a 2-1 victory at the quarter-final stage of the World Cup.

This is the result that is proving popular with punters and can be backed at 16/1, with Ladbrokes guaranteeing to offer the best price on all correct scores in the 90 minutes.

If Italy are to win, another difference-making performance may be required of Mario Balotelli and it is 7/1 that he repeats his exploits against Germany by scoring the first goal of the final.

A victory for Spain would see them make history in making them the first team ever to win three consecutive major tournaments.

Spain’s odds are 11/10 to win inside the 90 minutes and much of their chances could come down to who is selected in attack.

No striker was selected by Vincent Del Bosque for the opening draw with Italy three weeks ago and given how little impact Alvaro Negredo had against Portugal, the stage may be set for the return of Fernando Torres.

Torres is 6/1 to strike first in the final and 2/1 to find the target at any point inside the 90 minutes.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.