Euro 2012 Final

This entry was posted on Friday, June 29th, 2012

Spain vs Germany Italy.

Astonishing Euro statistic number 3492: Since 1988, four competitions (each at eight year intervals) have produced a final that was a repeat of a group match. And so we come to Sunday night in Kiev, where just three weeks after their 1-1 in Gdansk, Spain and Italy will be refamiliarising themselves with each other.

The first thing to say is that we shouldn’t expect goals. It is well documented that Spain haven’t conceded a goal in the knockout stages of a major tournament since the 2nd Round of World Cup 2006. In addition, no European Championship final has produced more than two goals in normal time since West Germany beat Belgium 2-1 back in 1980. Under 2.5 goals may only be priced at 1.5 on Betfair, but we won’t be put off.

Indeed no final has had more than a single goal in the first half since Czechoslovakia vs West Germany in 1976, so if you like short odds, under 1.5 first half goals should also be safe at 1/4 with Ladbrokes. If you fancy a third penalty shoot-out of the tournament it’s a 9/2 shot with bet365, and whilst it hasn’t happened in a Euro final since that Czechoslovakia win, don’t forget Holland came within minutes of taking the Spanish all the way in South Africa two years ago.

Italy have been almost entirely reliant on either Andrea Pirlo or Mario Balotelli to date. Pirlo is looking tired and surely the inconcistent Balotelli won’t produce genius in two matches running. We suspect Spain will be too good inside 90 minutes and like the look of 1-0 (5/1 with Ladbrokes) or 2-0 (9/1 with Ladbrokes). Likewise the Spanish clean sheet has to appeal at 2.36 on Betfair.

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