9th of June 2012 Author: Johnny Karp
The 2008 winners and reigning European and World Champions Spain start the defence of their title facing another of Europe's giants. However, the Italian side seems troubled by the recent match fixing scandal and might have a tough time at the Euro because of that.
Here are the probable line ups:
Casillas - Arbeloa, Ramos, Pique, Alba - Xabi Alonso, Busquets - Silva, Xavi, Iniesta - Torres
Buffon - Bonucci, De Rossi, Chiellini - Maggio, T. Motta, Pirlo, Marchisio, B'retti - Balotelli, Cassano
Spain have a few problems of their own, all due to injuries: David Villa and Carles Puyol, two of the most experienced players in the side, were ruled out of the finals before the tournament started due to fitness problems.
Chelsea striker Fernando Torres, famous for his scoring problems of late, will likely be given a place in the starting eleven by coach Vicente del Bosque, even though Athletic Bilbao's Fernando Llorente could be another viable option.
Sergio Ramos will probably feature at centre-back with Alvaro Arbeloa at right-back while Cesc Fabregas will probably remain on the bench for now after picking up a thigh problem in the Spanish Cup final.
Italy have a lot more problems though. Domenico Criscito was cut from the team due to his involvement in the betting scandal, striker Giuseppe Rossi is out of the tournament due to ligament damage and defender Andrea Barzagli will miss the first two matches due to a calf strain.
Antonio Cassano and Mario Balotelli are expected be the choices for the attack and that leaves some hope for creativity and fireworks up front.
Here are the match odds from William Hill:
Spain to win - 5/6
Draw - 21/10
Italy to win - 4/1
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