Torres can take the mantle for Spain as Villa faces fitness battle

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With David Villa having not played since last year, he could be set to miss out on Euro 2012, and Chelsea striker Fernando Torres may capitalise on the situation for Spain.

Torres has been included in Vicente Del Bosque’s provisional squad for the tournament, and will line up in friendlies against Serbia and South Korea, prior to the naming of the final squad on Sunday.

He will hope to carry his late season Chelsea form to Poland and Ukraine, during which a string of impressive performances culminated with a Champions League winner’s medal.

The Spaniard has previous form in European championships, and scored the winner for Spain in the final of Euro 2008, to land them their first major tournament in 44 years.

At 12/1 to be top tournament scorer, Torres may prove a better option than Villa, who is the same price, but faces an uphill task to make the squad due to a lack of match practice.

That said, Villa did collect the Golden Boot award for Euro 2008, and formed a lethal partnership with Torres as they ended their lengthy trophy drought.

Punters who believe Spain can claim back-to-back European championships, and a third successive major tournament win after the 2010 World Cup, can back them to do so at 5/2.

What may prove better value though, is for Spain to win a tournament in which Fernando Torres top scores, which is attributed a lengthy 18/1 price.

Torres should relish the chance to start from the off, and with his Chelsea future uncertain, he will be desperate to prove his goalscoring instincts are as sharp as ever ahead of next season.

The striker, who cost £50million from Liverpool last year, must either prove he is worthy of regular inclusion at Stamford Bridge, or impress a long list of potential European suitors.

His 27 international goals suggest he could do both in Poland and Ukraine.

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