Spain entered the Confederations Cup as the favorites to win the tournament. Despite facing a difficult rival in the semifinals, the Spaniards still have every reason to believe that they can take down Italy. Here are a few of those reasons.
Xabi Alonso is out injured and Pique might not be able to start in the match due to his injury against Nigeria. Here’s the advantage that Spain has. They don’t depend on a striker. Each and every player is able to score a goal. We found that out with Jordi Alba against Nigeria with his duo of goals.
The biggest news to come out of Brazil on Monday was the removal of striker Mario Balotelli from the Italian squad. Balotelli will leave a massive hole at the top of Italy's attack as he scored twice in the opening matches and created a plethora of chances with his creativity and explosiveness. Andrea Pirlo and Riccardo Montolivo are expected back for the Azzurri after injuries, but questions about their health in the semifinals remain. Montolivo left the game against Brazil early and is supposedly full recovered from a knock on the head. Italy is "optimistic" about Pirlo returning against Spain after suffering a calf injury against Japan but whether he is fully recovered remains to be seen. This weakness plays into Spain's hands as the 33-year old midfielder is the brains behind Italy's success. Without Pirlo, Italy was a mess against Brazil; a weakened Pirlo could be less effective and help Spain control the pace and possession with greater facility. Whether or not Ignazio Abate plays is also in question; his absence gave the Brazilians a tremendous amount of space.
June 27, 2013
Spain (TeleCinco España) 9 pm
UK (BBC HD, BBC One) 8 pm
USA (ESPN3, Univision, ESPN, ESPN Mobile TV, Watch ESPN) 12 pm PST, 3 pm EST
According to William Hill, here are some odds
Spain to win: 2/5
Italy to win: 13/2
According to Bet365.com, here are some odds
Spain to win: 4/11
Italy to win: 7/1
Spain 4-2 Italy
Not to be funny but, does anyone have déjà vu? If not, then this was the score for the Euro 2012 final. Spain have an advantage above Italy right now due to the missing players.
Make your predictions in the comments below.