After three glorious weeks of summer-fuelled football, Euro 2012 is ready to bring down its curtain with an epic Final match to be played between Spain and Italy. The match between the same two sides in the group stages might have given us an insight into how this game will fare, though there are bound to be some surprises given the nature of this fixture.
Spain have reached their second successive European Championships final after topping Group C, beating France in the quarterfinals 2-0 and knocking out Portugal on penalties in the semifinals.
For their part, Italy finished as runners-up to Spain in the group and then won in their own penalty shootout against England in the first knockout game. In the semifinals, Germany were dispatched 2-1 to book Italy's place in the final.
Here are 10 bold predictions for the Euro 2012 final to be played in Kyiv on Sunday.
Fernando Torres and Cesc Fabregas have each started two matches at Euro 2012 as Vicente del Bosque alternates between playing an out-and-out striker and a false nine.
In the semifinals against Portugal, del Bosque threw a real curveball by starting Alvaro Negredo, who was utterly ineffective and clearly lacking match sharpness.
Del Bosque has kept everyone guessing what the team will be for the final, but with Spain having recent history in this tournament, there is one thing everyone in the country will remember: With David Villa injured, it was Fernando Torres who stepped up to score the winning goal last time around.
Spain will give the Chelsea forward the chance to do it again four years later, and start with Torres up front.
Having recovered from injury that kept him out of Italy's semifinal against Germany, Ignazio Abate will be the one big decision that Cesare Prandelli makes as he recalls the right-back to the starting XI.
Christian Maggio will be available again to take that position after suspension, during which Federico Balzaretti performed admirably on the right side instead of his preferred left-back role.
However, Abate will get the nod, meaning a shift in roles for Balzaretti and Giorgio Chiellini—and Leonardo Bonucci dropping to the substitutes bench.
Early goals haven't exactly been a feature of the Euro 2012 tournament (except in Ireland matches perhaps), but there's a sneaky little early goal left in this competition yet.
And Italy are going to get it.
Perhaps Spain won't quite be switched on yet. Maybe Italy will come flying out of the traps.
Either way, we're looking at a lofted ball causing early confusion in and around the Spanish penalty area—a ball the boys in blue will tuck away with delight.
You just can't keep Mario Balotelli out of the headlines, can you?
Since the Euros started, he's been in the team and out of the team, shouting at his coach when scoring a goal and smashing a brilliant brace past the Germans to land his team a place in the final.
One way or another, he's bound to be involved in a big way during the final itself.
There are those who will tell you Balotelli could win you a game on his own...and lose it just as easily.
This time around, he's going to net Italy's precious early goal—and probably get booked again for his celebration, whatever it turns out to be.
Red cards have been relatively few and far between at Euro 2012, with the exception of the opening game between Greece and Poland—a game that saw one player from each team dismissed.
Certainly a stark contrast to the free-flowing reds dished out at World Cup 2002 and the like.
The final of a major tournament, however, doesn't come around often, and with stress levels through the roof, someone could make that over-eager, mistimed challenge.
I don't expect a straight red in the match. Both sides are full of experienced and cool-headed players. But one notable name aside, a double bookable offence is a real possibility.
Someone will end up with only ten men on the pitch.
Vicente del Bosque hasn't been shy about using his allotted changes during the European Championships, with Cesc Fabregas for Fernando Torres (or vice-versa) as one of the first ports of call.
Jesus Navas and Pedro Rodriguez have also been options from the bench for the Spanish tactician.
With his side trailing at the break and still no sign of an equaliser in the second half, expect rapid movement from the manager as he looks to swing the tie back in his side's favour.
The type of changes made won't give Spain radically different styles of playing but will be aimed more at bringing fresher legs to the party and to players who can have an impact, such as Navas with his pace.
Either way, all three will be on for Spain by the time the match clock strikes 60.
Not for nothing, Spain are reigning World and European champions.
The amount of pure ability, technical excellence and calmness on the ball they have in the final third is scary at times.
Alonso, Cesc, Iniesta, Torres, Negredo, Llorente, Mata, Navas, Silva, Xavi... the names just roll off the tongue—and some of them haven't even played as much as a single minute of football for Spain at Euro 2012.
Some say Spain haven't really clicked yet at this tournament. Perhaps we've grown too used to seeing some of the game's best football played by these players that the moment they slip below those amazingly high standards—still without losing a game, we might add—it seems that they are "on the decline" or "not at their best".
In a final, big game players have big moments.
Spain will turn it on when they need to—and score twice, to turn the game on its head.
Amongst all those names from the previous slide on players who have an impressive impact in Spain's final third play, no one has been so consistent and excellent during this tournament as Andres Iniesta.
A real candidate for player of the tournament, Iniesta already has a World Cup final winning goal under his belt and will be one of the players at the heart of everything good that Spain do. He can make a real impact on the team and could be the difference between them winning and losing the trophy.
Playing on the left side of the front three, Iniesta has licence to roam infield as he pleases. He will look to link up the central midfielders to the centre-forward, whether false or not.
Iniesta has also linked up superbly with left-back Jordi Alba, a great partnership that could be key in this final.
Though one of the quarterfinals (featuring Italy) and one of the semifinals (featuring Spain) went to extra time and all the way to penalties, that probably won't happen in the final itself.
This game is going to be wrapped up in 90 minutes, despite the trailing team throwing everything forward and the game being close within a single goal.
Three or four minutes of injury time might give late hope to fans of the trailing side, but ultimately it will be a case of too little, too late.
No team has ever retained the European Championships, but Spain will re-write that little piece of history on Sunday in Kyiv.
A victory over Italy will be their second consecutive Euros win following their 1-0 triumph over Germany in 2008.
As well as retaining the Euros, Spain would become the first nation to win three major international tournaments in a row, with the World Cup 2010 sandwiched in between.
Fernando Torres scored the winner that time out, who will be Spain's hero this time?