Spain vs. Italy Predictions: Stifling Defense to Give Italians Euro Cup Victory
Italy's 2-1 victory over Germany proved that their defense will be enough to stop Spain and take home the Euro Cup.
The two powerhouses will play for the second time in this competition as these foes from Group B played once before, with that match ending in a 1-1 draw. However, when the two meet again in the finals a winner must be crowned, and that winner will be Italy.
The defense displayed by the Italians against Germany was incredible.
Against an offensive attack that had scored eight goals in its previous three games, Italy kept the Germans silent until a meaningless penalty kick resulted in a Mesut Ozil goal in the 91st minute.
When looking at the boxscore you would have guessed that the Germans dominated the game, but that couldn't be further from the truth.
Despite taking more shots, more crosses, more corners and having more shots on target and more possession, Germany could not score except for on a PK because of the Italian defense.
Italy scored early and put about nine men in the box on defense. They disrupted Germany's many shots and did not allow a single goal to sneak by them.
Thanks to the stifling defense and the tremendous play of goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon that the Italians have enjoyed during the competition, they have allowed just three goals in five games. They have not allowed a goal that wasn't off a penalty in three games, including games against powerhouses like England and Germany.
Who will win the 2012 Euro Cup?
While the play of "Super" Mario Balotelli and midfielder Andrea Pirlo will be crucial to the success of Italy, all they have to do is score one goal.
As long as the Italians find a way to score first, they will be able to utilize their defensive nature of putting so many men in the box, and the Spanish will not be able to penetrate this defense.
While Spain has not allowed a goal in four straight games, the last team they surrendered a goal to was Italy. The Italians know how to attack Spain, and will surely find a way to beat the Spanish defense.
Once they do the game is essentially over, as it would take a great effort to score against Italy when the Italians have a lead. While Spain did so in the first game between the two, Italy did not play its best soccer in that game, and I can't see the Spanish doing so again with the Italians playing so well.
These two powerhouses have dominated international football in recent years. Italy won the 2006 World Cup. Spain won the 2008 Euro Cup and 2010 World Cup. Now it's time for Italy to even the score and take home the 2012 Euro Cup.
Final Prediction: Italy 1, Spain 0
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