Game Stats Markets
Back 2nd half to be highest scoring half @5-4
Back Italy to be caught offside first @4-5
Tactics will be very much in focus in what is a rematch of the opening game from Group C played at the beginning of the tournament. Del Bosque is his own man and will not mind winning ‘ugly’, just as long as the final result is attained. He is likely to persist with the much talked about formation that doesn’t include a typical number 9. Fabregas is likely to continue in the central role. The former Arsenal captain is a mobile, all-round midfielder and could possibly be asked to play a role that involves man-marking Pirlo. Other teams have had halfhearted efforts at equalising Pirlo’s threat but in truth they haven’t had the personnel to affect any such plan. As a result the first half could see both teams cancel each other out for large passages of play. Italy will again look to isolate Balotelli with the least mobile of the opposition centrebacks, in this case, Pique. But only a player of Pirlo’s quality makes this a high percentage ball out of the rear third of the field. Spain will largely play in front of Italy and will look to outflank them, particularly on the left where Iniesta and Alba have developed a good understanding. It will be interesting to see how prepared the Spanish fullbacks are to go on the overlap early in the game. Cassano is the player most likely to be caught offside of the starters on both sides. While Balotelli has yet to be officially found to be in breach of this particular law, he spends a lot of time in line with the last defender.
Back Iniesta to score anytime @4-1
Iniesta has looked like a viable source of goals throughout the tournament and eventhough he is yet to register a hit on target he has amassed 19 efforts at goal. With the help of Alba overlapping on the left wing, Iniesta could find himself able to cut inside on goal. Alternatively, he probably finds running in behind defenders a more natural action than those such as Fabregas and Silva who are more used to playing in central midfield. Anything more than two shots at goal makes the 4-1 available about an Iniesta score an attractive proposition.