Here are five reasons why in his opinion, Spain are destined to emerge victorious.
1) Spain are winning without playing a striker.
Spain have played the majority of the games without a recognised striker and still reached the final. Fabregas, has lead the line perfectly for the Spanish, contributing to goals and assists for his country. Spain’s bench is far more superior than the Italians and have the likes of Torres, Llorente to call upon if needed. Whereas the Italians have the ageing Di Natale, who spends more time offside than onside.
2) Pirlo vs. Alonso, Iniesta and Xavi.
Pirlos is the Italian's quarterback. He picks perfect passes, sets up every play and is present in all attacks. The trouble is Spain have three Pirlo's who go by the name of Alonso, Iniesta and Xavi. Surely the task ahead is just too much for the Juventus playmaker, and despite his superb tournament he may just find tonight too difficult to exert the same dominance as he enjoyed against England's weak midfield.
With Balotelli you never know which player is going to turn up? The one who missed a sitter against Spain or the one who had a blinder against Germany. Is two good games in a row too much to ask? The unpredictable striker has looked more interested in his headphones than the actual tournament, in the pre-game warm-ups. He if has a bad night he might just ruin Italy's chances and prove why many refer to him as a 'walking red-card.'
Everyone expects Spain to win, most teams falter under expectation. However, Spain seem to thrive under it. Although they have been labelled a ‘boring team’ - they win games. Football isn’t rocket science, the more games you win. by the end, you will be champions, and that’s the way it looks like Spain will go. They have the chance to make history by winning three major tournaments in succession, and they are so close they can touch the achievement. This may just spur them on even further.
5) The ball listens to the players - and won't go in their net.
Finally, the ball listens to the Spanish. Cesc Fabregas apparently spoke to the ball and ‘told him to go in.’ With that in mind, how can Italy win? An important and incredible statistic to bear in mind is that during the knockout stages at the last World Cup, and Euro 2012, Spain have not conceded a single goal. Even without Carlos Puyol their defence has been superb, and Italy face the toughest of tasks even to score just once.
image: © LaertesCTB