No team has ever won three major international tournaments in a row but Spain are on course to do just that as they take on Italy in the final of Euro 2012 in Kiev, where the world and European champions are 8/15 with Betfred to complete an unprecedented treble.
Germany, then in the guise of West Germany, are the team that has come closest to a trio of tournament triumphs but they were beaten on penalties in the final of the 1976 European Championship and after Thurssday’s upset in Warsaw, they won’t get the chance to prevent the Spanish from achieving what they failed to 36 years ago. Instead the Azzurri will be tasked with halting the holders and they’re 8/5 via Boylesports to do just that.
Skybet price Vicente del Bosque’s men at 11/10 to retain their crown with a victory in normal time at the Olympic Stadium where Cesare Prandelli’s charges are significantly bigger at 10/3 via Stan James and it’s 9/4 (bet365) to be all square after 90 minutes.
After Spain’s fairly muted performance in the semi-final against Portugal and the pair’s draw in their opening Group C encounter, that stalemate quote could prove popular, alongside William Hill’s 11/2 for it to again finish one-each and bet365 post 9/2 against the final going to penalties for only the second time in the competition’s history.
The Spanish are 10/1 courtesy of bet365 to repeat Wednesday’s shootout triumph while the Italians, who were pretty handy from twelve yards against England, are also 10/1 (Skybet) to prevail from the spot.
Those quotes may tempt some and indeed they’re a decent saver but del Bosque’s troops are arguably the one team that has the midfield to close down Italian maestro Andrea Pirlo and their patient passing play could see them clinch the title. Ladbrokes rate them at 11/4 to nick it in normal time by a one-goal margin, they’re 5/1 with Paddy Power to finish on the right side of a 1-0 scoreline and Coral offer odds of 7/2 for a Spanish success on the back of a level first half.
When it comes to speculating on who will fire that potentially crucial opening goal, Spain’s unorthodox formation, which has seen them line-up without a striker will inevitably encourage bets on Italian front man Mario Balotelli, whose brace on Wednesday fired the Azzurri into the final. The Man City maverick is a 15/2 chance at Betfred to add to his three goals in the tournament by putting his side 1-0 up and in the same market, for punters looking to back a Spaniard, Andres Iniesta is an 11/1 shot with BetVictor to notch first.