What will this fascinating European rivalry deliver in this highly-anticipated rematch? Another Spain victory or will Italy settle the score?
Spanish domination continues
Spain are the bookies favourites to win the competition at +110 and deservedly so. So far, what we’ve seen from Spain in the competition is a natural extension of their domination of the game over the last four years – winning the World Cup 2010 and Euro Cup 2012.
Hardly surprising therefore that they are the massive favourites over Italy in the semi-finals, tipped at -300 to win outright, a match that reprises the final of the Euro Cup that Spain won handily and to the embarrassment of Prandelli’s side 4-0.
What makes Spain so strong is their utter domination of every facet of the game, from front to back and out wide they have depth, talent and quality, not to mention enviable skill across the board. They made the group stage appear to be a mere traipse through the park, so easily they beat the opposition, a respectable group, save for Tahiti, of course.
Combining their output, Spain tallied 15 goals and conceded but one, although that number is entirely skewed by their 10-0 win over Tahiti, and left no doubt that they were the best team in the world right now. It’s really going to be a tall order for Italy to mastermind the upset. Speaking of scoring, Fernando Torres is at -120 betting odds to score at any point in the game and a +350 bet to score the first or last goal. Inesta is a tempting +175 play to score anytime.
Italy banged up and injury ridden
On paper, Italy is a side that can mastermind the upset but given the fact that they are banged up right now, a lesser force than a full-strength side might have been, the probability of the upset grows slimmer, highlighted by their odds for the semi-final clash against Spain and their odds to win the competition outright that are both listed at +800 at Bet365.
The group stage took a lot out of Prandelli’s men. The back-to-back physically grueling games against Japan and Brazil have taken the legs out of them and that toll is nowhere felt more than on the injury list. Mario Balotelli apparently is now ruled out for the semi-finals with a thigh injury. As well, Ignazio Abate is out of the tournament. And midfielders Pirlo and Riccardo are listed as questionable according to reports in the press.
Without their biggest goal threat in Balotelli and a shortened bench through a growing injury list that thrusts Italy’s chances into question, it’s no wonder the odds are stacked against them. Of course, it is the nature of sport to deliver surprises but it’s hard to imagine how Italy would accomplish the task when they are so depleted.
Soccer Betting Verdict
On the evidence of the group stage, it’s hard to see the favourites Spain slip up. Conversely, to put it another way, it’s hard to recommend a bet on the underdog even if their odds are so tempting and almost too good to pass up when they are so obviously wanting on the pitch. That’s why we’re sticking to the market trend here and backing Spain all the way to the final. To wrestle some value out of this predictable soccer picks , here are some side bets to consider: bookies fancy the Over 2.5 at -163 and we like this option too. Spain has been firing at all cylinders in this competition and Italy haven’t been shy either in front of the net.
All of Italy’s games have been close and so we are also leaning towards the 2-1 or 3-1 score lines that are set at +700 and +1000, respectively. Spain to win by a two-goal margin is listed at +300 whilst a three-goal margin is at a lush +450.Soccer Free Picks: Spain to win by 2 goals for your sports picks.