Italy's Antonio Cassano with baby in his hands (R) looks on team mates as they celebrate their victory against Germany at Euro 2012 semi-final soccer match at the National stadium in Warsaw, June 28, 2012. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger (Photo : REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger)
After failures in the 2008 Euro Cup and the 2010 World Cup, Italy was not seen as a perennial favorite to win the 2012 Euro Cup. However, after some struggles in the group stage and quarter finals, Italy found a way to make a dominating German team look timid and confused.
Now Italy returns to the place where it all began with a match against Spain, who is the heavy favorite in this match. However are numerous reasons to believe that Italy has what it takes to win this match easily.
Confidence and Less Pressure
The players and coach will tell you that they think they have the same amount of pressure as their rivals, but as I stated in regards to their match against Germany, Italy was never expected to be here and is still not looked on as the favorite. Spain is on the verge of making history and that plus the idea of retaining their title puts more weight on the defending champs. Italy can relax knowing that regardless of the results, their tournament was a tremendous success.
Look for the Italians to look calm and collected as they did against Germany and pressure the Spanish into mistakes.
Throw in the fact that Italy knows that they can play well against and even outplay Spain and you have a team primed for a major upset.
Spain is loaded with superstars and does not rely on a single one for victory. However, Italy does as they lack the depth up front on the bench to keep pace with Spain. If they are going to win, they need Balotelli to repeat his performance against Germany in which his speed and tenacity scared the German defense.
In the first match against Spain, Balotelli create a series of problems for the Spaniards. However, mental mistakes and poor play stopped him from being effective. He has been markedly better since the English match and his confidence is at its height after a brace against Germany.
Pirlo has quietly put together an MVP performance at the Euro 2012. He has one goal and two assists, but he has meticulously orchestrated the Italian attack with brilliant passing and playmaking.Throw in his brilliant penalty against England and you have the most consistent, clutch performer of the tournament to date.
He will not have the ball as much in this tournament as the Spanish midfield will dominate possession, but when he does, he needs to make as he did against Germany and generate plays for Italy . He was effective in the first go-round with Spain and created the 1-0 lead for them on a brilliant pass to Di Natale. His consistency will pay huge dividends
Disagree? Read the Counterargument for a Spanish Victory HERE.
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