Spain v Italy: Why Man City’s Mario Balotelli is sure to net in the final
The Tipster is backing Manchester City's controversial striker Mario Balotelli to score for Italy against Spain in the final
This is what the The Tipster has been waiting for. Spain v Italy. The Euro 2012 final between two heavyweights of the international game. And our betting expert is backing Manchester City’s Mario Balotelli to score on a night that looks probable to end in disappointment for the Italians.
Our man-in-the-know is also backing Pedro Rodríguez to net in the European championship showpiece in what he is tipping to be an open game, where holders Spain look likely to come out on top.
Mario Balotelli to score at any time against Spain – 5/2
The Manchester City striker emphatically answered his critics with a brilliant brace against Germany in Thursday’s semi-final. The 21-year-old took his tally to three goals for the tournament, and four in 13 appearances for Italy. Balotelli has the ability to do something special against Spain, and the Tipster’s opening bet for this edition is for the enigmatic striker to score at any time in the final at 5/2.
Over 2.5 goals in Spain v Italy – 15/8
Many predicted Italy’s semi-final against Germany to be a cagey affair, but Balotelli’s double opened the game up and it proved to be an entertaining match. The two Euro 2012 finalists shared the points in their opening Group C game in Gdansk, with Antonio Di Natale and Cesc Fàbregas scoring on that occasion. Our resident betting expert is predicting an entertaining final, and over 2.5 goals is a value bet at 15/8.
Pedro Rodríguez to score at any time against Italy – 4/1
Barcelona’s Pedro will most likely affect this final from the bench, but the 24-year-old is a big-game player and he has an outstanding record of scoring in crucial Barça’s games. He scored in both legs of their Champions League semi-final victory over Real Madrid, and against Manchester United in the Wembley showpiece in 2011, plus a brace in the Copa del Rey final in 2012. So The Tipster reckons Pedro to score any time is excellent value at 4/1.
Spain to lift the trophy – 4/7
Italy have already caused one major upset at Euro 2012 by beating Joachim Löw’s fancied side to reach the final in Kiev. Vicente Del Bosque’s side are unbeaten in their last two competitive meetings against the Azzurri, even if penalties were needed to separate the sides in the Euro 2008 quarter-finals. Spain are unbeaten in 28 games in this competition since losing a qualifier to Sweden in October 2006, and the Tipster is backing them to lift the trophy at 4/7.
The long shot: Spain to beat Italy in extra-time – 11/1
The Tipster is expecting Spain to successfully defend their European championship crown – but it will be a difficult task against Cesare Prandelli’s plucky side. La Roja will be expected to dominate possession, with the key question being: how long can Italy’s defence can stand firm? Led by Gianluigi Buffon, the Italian rearguard have impressed against England and Germany, so it could take Spain extra-time to win the final – as it did in their World Cup triumph over the Netherlands in 2010. The Tipster’s long shot for this edition is Spain to beat Italy in extra-time at 11/1.
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