Italy boss Cesare Prandelli has dismissed criticism that the Spanish are ‘boring’ ahead of their Euro 2012 final in Kiev on Sunday (Spain 11/10, draw 21/10, Italy 3/1 – Match Betting with bet365).
The Italians (13/8 Euro 2012 outright with bet365) have once again been the dark horses of the competition and, having come into the tournament in miserable form, the Azzurri battled their way to the final, seeing off England and Germany in the process.
Spain have reached the final at the Olympic Stadium without really hitting top gear and much has been made about their keep-ball football, which has produced some less than thrilling games in Poland and Ukraine.
However, Prandelli has been impressed with Spain in the competition and believes the recent criticism of the defending champions has been spawned out of jealously of their success. He also believes they are the best team in the world.
He said: “They’ve shown that in the last few years by playing their own way and staying true to their footballing philosophy.
“It’s not a case of them being boring.
“It’s a fear of seeing the same side always winning and Spain always seem to come out on top.
“They are not boring in any shape or form.”
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Euro 2012 | Football Betting News | July 1, 2012 12:50 |
Italy coach Cesare Prandelli believes he can identify the weaknesses in the Spain team and is ready to exploit them in Sunday’s Euro 2012 final (Spain 4/7, Italy 6/4 Euro 2012 outright with bet365).
The two nations met earlier in the tournament, the Italians claiming a very respectable 1-1 draw in the opening match in Group C.
Since then the Azzurri have gone from strength to strength, beating England on penalties in the quarter-finals before causing a big upset by putting Germany out in the semi-finals.
That series of results has brought them full circle as they will now end the tournament against the team they faced first in reigning champions Spain.
La Roja have been far from their best at times at Euro 2012, but have still only conceded one goal and look like they will be a tough nut to crack for Italy.
Prandelli, who has guided Italy to the final in his first major tournament as manager, says he learnt a lot from the game in Gdansk earlier in the tournament and has backed his team to come out on top in Kiev on Sunday.
“We are physically and mentally stronger than when we faced them in our opening game,” he said.
“We only have one day to prepare for this game but we will try to find Spain’s weaknesses.
“They are the world and European champions and they are an example to everyone, but we have grown and we should not fear them.
“We have to have the strength to face them with ideas and quality.”
Prandelli went on to say he had no concerns over Mario Balotelli (6/5 Euro 2012 top goalscorer) after he limped off during the game with Germany, claiming he is raring to go.
Cesc Fabregas believes Spain’s chances of success in Sunday’s Euro 2012 final against Italy will depend on how they deal with the threat of Mario Balotelli (Spain 6/5, draw 21/10, Italy 11/4 with bet365).
The enigmatic star has once again divided opinion in Poland and Ukraine but was at his brilliant best on Thursday as he bagged both goals for the Azzurri in their 2-1 semi-final win over Germany.
Balotelli (11/4 to score at anytime in the final with bet365) looked sluggish in the early stages of the tournament and was criticised for his performance in the side’s opening game against the Spaniards.
However, the 21-year-old has come to life in the knockout rounds and is now most certainly the Italians’ most potent attacking threat due to his undoubted skill and superb pace.Fabregas has warned his team-mates that they will have to keep a close eye on Balotelli throughout the game in Kiev, as any slip-ups in concentration are likely to be punished.
“Balotelli is a great player,” said the Barcelona midfielder. “He showed that yesterday by scoring two superb goals in a semi-final against a very strong team like Germany.
“He’ll be a threat, just like (Antonio) Cassano and the other strikers.
“It will be a tough game and the winners will be deserving champions. I think we’ve been the two most consistent teams at the tournament.”
Cesare Prandelli says Spain are rightly favourites to win Sunday’s Euro 2012 final despite his side’s thrilling 2-1 semi-final success over Germany on Thursday (Spain 8/15, Italy 6/4 – to lift the trophy with bet365).
The Azzurri caused a big shock by knocking out the previously-impressive Germans in Warsaw with Mario Balotelli the hero with two first-half goals.
They now face another huge task on Sunday, though, when they meet defending European champions Spain in the final and Prandelli concedes Vicente del Bosque’s side are the favourites to come out on top.
He said: “For their experience and continuity they (Spain) are the favourites, but we are there too,” he said.
Prandelli also praised Manchester City striker Balotelli as he turned in an outstanding display, terrorising the German backline. The unpredictable forward is now the new favourite at 6/5 with bet365 to win the Golden Boot award after his double took his tally to three for the tournament.
“He (Balotelli) was excellent, just like the entire team were,” he added.
“I really believe that a team needs to have an idea in the way they play and he really subscribed to this playing style. He was high up the pitch and available and I think he put in a very good performance.”
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Euro 2012 | Football Betting News | 12:35 |
Daniele De Rossi says he is determined to make sure he plays in Italy‘s Euro 2012 semi-final with Germany as he and his team mates look forward to a “historic night” (Germany 2/5, Italy 15/8 to qualify for final with bet365).
The Roma midfielder is a doubt for the clash in Warsaw having been forced off during the Azzurri’s quarter-final win over England with a sciatic problem.
Having been unavailable for the 2006 World Cup semi-final against Germany due to suspension, De Rossi is keen to make sure he doesn’t miss another clash with the Germans in the last four.
“We all want to play in this game. It would be a shame to miss out because of a physical problem, but I’m confident I will make a recovery. I will do everything in my power to pass my fitness test,” said the 28-year-old.
“I remember back in 2006 the team we had was a different generation, a different era. I am one of the few left from that side and I didn’t even play.
“It was an epic evening, everyone thought they’d win as hosts but they didn’t. They might be favourites again, but I don’t see Italy conceding much ground and I’m hoping it’ll be another historic night.”
Italian coach Cesare Prandelli will be desperate for De Rossi to be passed fit, the midfielder having been a talisman in the tournament thus far.
De Rossi filled in at centre-back for the first few games before playing his part in the win over England in the last-eight, albeit coming via a penalty shootout.
Despite having played Spain (5/6 Euro 2012 outright with bet365) in the group stages, Germany (13/8) could pose Italy’s (13/2) tougher test to date.
Germany have been very impressive in the tournament thus far and while De Rossi acknowledge the match will be a “great challenge” he says the Italians won’t change their style of play to suit them.
Tags: Cesare Prandelli, Daniele De Rossi, england, Euro 2012, football bet, football betting, football odds, Germany, Italy, match betting, outright betting, Spain, warsaw
Euro 2012 | Football Betting News | June 28, 2012 13:57 |
Portugal manager Paulo Bento has denied that his side will just go out to defend when they take on Spain in the Euro 2012 semi-finals on Wednesday night (Portugal 7/2, Spain 19/20, draw 9/4 Match Prices with bet365).
The Iberian Peninsula rivals will go head-to-head at the Donbass Arena in mid-week with Spain looking to make yet another major final where they will face either Germany or Italy.
But the Portuguese have equipped themselves well in Poland and Ukraine to date and, with Cristiano Ronaldo in their ranks, they will always pose a goal threat (Ronaldo 5/1 1st Goalscorer).
It looks set to be a tight affair in Donetsk, with Portugal tipped to “park the bus” by many pundits and try to hit the world champions on the break.
France tried the tactic against Spain in the quarter-finals and came a cropper and Bento insists that his men will stay true to their attacking beliefs and try to ask a few questions of the best national side in the world.
“Our aim is not to defend all of the time,” he said. “We can’t do this against the reigning world and European champions. We are aware it will be difficult but they know we can pose a lot of problems for them.”
Ronaldo is Portugal’s main attacking threat and has already scored three goals in the tournament but he did not get on the score sheet when the Euro 2004 runners-up beat Spain 4-0 in a friendly last time the two sides met.
Despite the ease of that success, Bento does not feel it will have any bearing of the outcome this time around.
“We are talking about the semi-final of Euro 2012 and everybody on both teams has shown great efforts to get here,” he added. “That’s why we don’t look at the past.”
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Euro 2012 | Football Betting News | June 27, 2012 09:55 |
Joachim Loew said it would be “useless” for Germany to try to man-mark Andrea Pirlo and insisted he has no intention of setting up to nullify Euro 2012 semi-final opponents Italy (Germany 10/11 draw 12/5 Italy 7/2 – bet365 90 minutes).
The Juventus play-maker turned in a midfield master-class to embarrass England on Sunday and capped an eye-catching performance with an audacious penalty in a dramatic shoot-out.
The 33-year-old will again be expected to pull the strings for the Azzurri on Thursday in a fascinating last-four match-up against the three-time European winners.
Loew said he will not be asking any of Germany’s players to shadow the veteran schemer and insists it is imperative that the Italians are put on the back-foot.
“(Pirlo) is an outstanding footballer and a brilliant strategist,” Loew said on Tuesday. “Man-marking is useless with him because he drops deep so often.”
Loew added he will be asking his Germany players to take the game to Italy rather than sit back and invite the 2006 World Cup winners on (To Qualify – Germany 2/5 Italy 15/8 bet365).
He added: “(Italy can play) 3-5-2 or 4-4-2. We have to familiarise and prepare for both systems (but) we want to keep our own rhythm.”
Andres Iniesta says he is enjoying the responsibility of being an elder statesman for Spain and accepts he will be expected to carry a nation’s expectations again on Wednesday (10/1 Wincast – Iniesta to score first and Spain win – bet365).
La Roja have opted for substance over style in Euro 2012 and World Cup winner Iniesta remains key to the Spanish philosophy of keep-ball.
The Camp Nou favourite, now 28 and in his peak years, will again be charged with the task of leading the Spanish to a third successive major tournament final on Wednesday at the expense of Iberian rivals Portugal (Spain 4/9 – To Qualify bet365).
The Portuguese inflicted a biggest defeat on Spain since 1950 with a 4-0 friendly win in Lisbon in 2010 and, in superstar forward Cristiano Ronaldo, boast a game-breaker.
Iniesta says the reigning World and European champions will not abandon their style and insists the foundations are in place for many more glory years.
He said: “The years pass, you learn, accept more responsibility and now I’m in a good moment where I feel fine in the Spain team – I hope it lasts a long time.”
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Euro 2012 | Football Betting News | 15:26 |
Cristiano Ronaldo has played down the expectation on his shoulders ahead of Portugal’s Euro 2012 semi-final showdown with tournament favourites Spain (Portugal 16/5, draw 9/4, Spain 1/1 Match Betting with bet365).
The two neighbours are set to go head-to-head at the Donbass Arena on Wednesday, with the defending champions Spain (13/8 Euro 2012 outright with bet365) fancied to book their place in the final and face either Germany or Italy in the showpiece event on July 1.
However any potential upset from Portugal will be led by Real Madrid star Ronaldo, who is the main reason the side have reached this stage of the competition, having qualified from a group which included Germany, Holland and Denmark.
The former Manchester United star has insisted he is used to the expectation of a nation and feels no extra pressure to perform against the Spaniards.
He said: “These games are part of my life. I have to be used to them. Responsibility yes, pressure no.
“It will be a hard clash in which Portugal has to do very well to beat Spain.
“You have to prepare for the match in the same way that we prepared for the others. We don’t have to do anything different.”
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Euro 2012 | Football Betting News | 15:08 |
Spain (13/8 – Euro 2012 outright with bet365) are unlikely to adopt big plans to try and nullify Cristiano Ronaldo in their Euro 2012 semi-final against Portugal, according to his Real Madrid club-mate Xabi Alonso.
The defending champions take on their Iberian neighbours on Wednesday with a place in the final of the tournament up for grabs and Alonso, who is well aware of how good Ronaldo is, insists Vicente Del Bosque is unlikely to bring in any special tactics to cope with the Portugal talisman.
“We always play with the same idea whoever the opponent,” the midfielder said. “In this case, we will analyse Cristiano’s game and there may be small adjustments but we will try to play as a team because that’s the best way to stop a player.”
Alonso, who scored both goals in his country’s comfortable 2-0 quarter-final win over France, says Spain will play the same way despite some criticism from certain sections of the media and some whistling neutral fans in the stadium on Saturday, who have accused La Roja of being boring to watch.
The former Liverpool star added: “Whatever people say I don’t think we are going to change.
“I am pretty sure that most of the fans are enjoying great football games and great football teams. I think that’s great not just for the present but also for the future of this tournament.”
Bet365 rate Spain as favourites to win the semi, with a victory in normal time on offer at 10/11, while Portugal are 10/3 to cause an upset after 90 minutes and a draw is priced at 12/5.
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Euro 2012 | Football Betting News | June 25, 2012 14:39 |