Spain vs. Italy Start Time: What to Watch for in Sunday's Euro 2012 Final

Patrick Clarke@@_Pat_ClarkeCorrespondent IJune 29, 2012

Sunday's Euro 2012 final will feature the last two World Cup winners and two of the best squads in international football clashing for the right to be named champions of Europe for the next four years.

Neither Spain or Italy have lost in Euro 2012, and both teams have already met in their Group C open, which resulted in a 1-1 draw. 

The two evenly matched sides will square off this weekend in a must-see championship showdown in Kiev, Ukraine.

Here is what you should be watching for:

 

When: Sunday, July 1, 2:45 PM ET

Where: Kiev Olympic Stadium, Kiev, Ukraine

Watch: ESPN

Live Streaming: ESPN3.com

 

Mario Balotelli

The hit-or-miss 21-year-old striker was absolutely on fire against Germany on Thursday, scoring twice in the first half of Italy's semifinal win over the tournament favorite. Mario Balotelli showed why he is worth the head-scratching moments, putting on a world-class finishing clinic against the Germans, netting two goals in a stretch of 16 minutes.

Balotelli only created three shots against Germany, though, which is surprising considering that he went for goal 11 times in the quarterfinals against England. Balotelli has put 14 shots on goal at Euro 2012 so far, and he will certainly add to that tally against Spain on Sunday. 

 

Iker Casillas and Spain's Defense

Spain's goalkeeper has allowed just one goal in five matches, and let just two penalties in during his team's shootout win over Portugal in Wednesday's semifinal. Casillas has been stellar in net for the Spanish, but the defense played by Sergio Ramos and company on the back line has been every bit as crucial to Spain's impressive four-match shutout streak. 

Casillas has 11 saves in five matches at Euro 2012, and has been arguably the top goalkeeper at this summer's tournament along with Italy's veteran stopper, Gianluigi Buffon. Both goalkeepers have the ability to change the outcome of a match with their athleticism, patience and judgment. Fans should watch for them both on Sunday. 

 

Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter for more reaction on Euro 2012. 

Follow _Pat_Clarke on Twitter

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