It's not hard to reason this one but you migh...
After yesterday's Germany-Portugal game that was decided by a 1-0 scoreline, brace youselves for another potentially close encounter tonight. These old European rivals have a point to prove. While Spain will want to defend its No.1 ranking, the Italians will be looking to finally live up to their potential and try to win at a big stage, after underacheiving in recent years.
A Mario (Gomez) was the difference-maker in Germany's win last night--just as we had predicted. Even tonight, a Mario (Balotelli) could prove to be the telling factor in this must-watch game.
This game kicks off at 21:30 IST tonight.
Here are some other Euro 2012 group games you shouldn't miss.
Spain met Italy for the first time in 1920, in Antwerp, and ended up beating the Azuri 2-0. Since then, the two teams have battled it out on 29 occasions, and the two sides have been closely matched in head-to-head comparison. While 11 games between these two teams have been stalemates, Spain has won eight matches and Italy ten.
Even in the European Championships, these teams are very closely matched. Out of the three times they've met before, both have won a game each, while one match ended in a tie. But the last time Italy played Spain, the former triumphed with a 2-1 scoreline in August last year.
As mentioned before, Manchester City striker, Mario Balotelli will be a big factor in this match. He is yet to make a big impact while donning the azure jersey, but he's already made quite a ripple with his infamous sweeping statements! Will he be able to put his money where his mouth is? We'll find out soon!
Meanwhile, the absence of Carles Puyol and David Villa shouldn't make much of a dent in the strong Spanish line-up. Coach Vicente Del Bosque, however, will have to make a tough decision to bank on either Fernando Torres or Fernando Llorente up front. Still, he has the ever-reliable Xavi plying his trade in the midfield to counter the likes of Andrea Pirlo--which will be a great individual battle to watch out for!
A potentially close game like this one usually boils down to nerves. And judging by recent form, we have to say Spain has what it takes to beat--and perhaps even drub--Italy tonight. This could be the case unless a mercurial Mario is again the difference between victory and defeat!
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