Location: Arena Gdansk (Poland)
Time: 12:00 p.m. ET/9:00 a.m. PT
Television: ESPN, ESPN Deportes
90 Minutes + Injury Time: Spain -½ -135, Italy +½ Even, Total: 2½
3-Way Result: Spain -135, Draw +250, Italy +410
Odds To Win Group C: Spain 10/19, Italy 3/1
Odds To Win Euro 2012: Spain 9/4, Italy 12/1
Italy was rocked a bit by the recent betting scandal and saw Domenico Criscito withdraw from the Azzurri’s 25-man roster short-list right before it was released.
The team still has its share of stars for the tournament including goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus); defenders Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus) and Christian Maggio (Napoli); midfielders Thiago Motta (Paris Saint-Germain FC) and Andrea Pirlo (Juventus); and man-child forward Mario Balotelli (Manchester City).
Euro 2012 favorites, Spain, are completely loaded and actually have three of the top 20 goalkeepers in the world on its roster: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Víctor Valdés (FC Barcelona) and Pepe Reina (Liverpool), a really nice problem for manager Vicente del Bosque to have.
Spain’s roster also includes defenders Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid) and Gerard Piqué (FC Barcelona); and a bevy of talented midfielders in Xavi Hernández (FC Barcelona), Sergio Busquets (FC Barcelona), Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), David Silva (Manchester City), Cesc Fàbregas (FC Barcelona) and Andrés Iniesta (FC Barcelona).
Up front Spain features Juan Mata (Chelsea FC), Fernando Torres (Chelsea FC) and Pedro Rodríguez (FC Barcelona) at the forward position.
When you have the luxury of combining some of the best players from the rosters of FC Barcelona and Real Madrid on your team, then you have to be considered the tourney favorites no matter how tough the competition.
Spain will try to get off to a quick start in Euro 2012 and should defeat Italy by two goals in what should be a pretty entertaining game for the fans.
PREDICTION: Spain 3 Italy 1
BETS: Spain -½ -135 (BEST BET #2), Spain -135 (BEST BET #3), Over 2 -135