Categorized | Euro 2012, Featured

Euro Cup 2012: Italy Euro 2012 Team Profile, Schedule, Odds

Italy Euro Cup 2012 – More Match Fixing Scandals Could Crush Italians: The Italian Serie A is always looked upon as one of the best soccer leagues in the entire world. It shouldn’t be considered all that much of a surprise that a ton of Italian soccer players elect to stay at home, where they can play for tons of money and in the comfort of their own backyards. That being said, there are still match fixing scandals going on, and the tournament for the team has been in some serious jeopardy. Italy is going to give it a go this time around in Euro 2012, though we have a real question as to whether or not this team is really ready for this competition or not.

Ironically, the last time that we saw the Italians in Euro 2008, it was a draw that was clearly agreed upon before the match ever got started on the final match day in the group stage that saw them kept out of the quarterfinals. Italy is still one of the more talented teams in the world, but it is also one of the more hated teams in the world with all of the match fixing fiascos. The good news is that Group C isn’t the toughest in the world, though the opening match against Spain is likely to put the team behind the 8-ball. After that though, the matches against Ireland and Croatia, both of which will see the Italians be favored for sure, are on tap.

Euro 2012 Schedule for Italy
Sunday June 10th: Spain vs. Italy 12:00 p.m. (ET) (ESPN)
Thursday June 14th: Italy vs. Croatia 12:00 p.m. (ET) (ESPN2)
Monday, June 18th: Italy vs. Ireland 2:45 p.m. (ET) (ESPN2)

The key to Italian success here in Euro 2012 is going to be the play of Gigi Buffon and his defense. Buffon has been the Italy net minder for quite some time, and winning the World Cup six years ago was clearly the biggest accomplishment of his career. The longtime Juventes goalie is 34 years old now though, and he is clearly at the end of his rope and might be in his final major competition for his country. Defensively, there might be just three in the back, knowing that Andrea Barzagli is going to be out of the fold, likely for the entire tournament. That really leaves Leonardo Bonucci, Christian Maggio, and Giorgio Chiellini as the only experienced players in the back.

The offense and the midfield are significantly different situations. Mario Balotelli, Antonio Cassano, and Antonio Di Natale are all capable of big time games at the front, and all three should be on the field at all times. In the midfield, it is clear that Andrea Pirlo and Daniele De Rossi are going to have to be big time leaders. They have played in 155 games for their country between them, and they have accounted for 19 of the midfield players’ 22 goals that they have scored combined in their Italian careers.

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But again, that brings up the question of just how motivated this team is. Manager Cesare Prandelli was mentioning just a week ago that it wouldn’t bother him if his team ultimately ended up not playing in Euro 2012. What type of confidence does that give to this side? Remember that a lot of these players played in some incredibly long seasons domestically, and with all of the legal issues going on off the pitch, there hasn’t been a ton of time of this team to practice together.

Italy feels like it is ranked a tad low at No. 12 in the world right now, but that is largely because of all of the problems that the team has had off of the pitch. It is clearly spilling over into problems that are happening on the field. Remember that this Italian team really hasn’t been all that worthwhile since the end of the World Cup six years ago.

Italy 2012 Euro Championship Tips & Predictions: In the end, it is going to be hard for the Italians to miss the second round of this tournament. However, if they do end up getting to that juncture, they are going to have a heck of a battle against a team like France or England for a spot in the semifinals. It is going to take a heck of a lot of luck on top of everything else for Italy to really be successful on the Euro 2012 odds. Remember that Italy is +1400 to win Euro 2012, and it is a -165 favorite to qualify for the quarterfinals. If you want to bet on the Italy UEFA Euro 2012 odds, be sure to visit BetOnline.com.

This TSS post was written by:

- who has written 27 posts on Total Soccer Source.

Even though Nick Sanchez is an American living in Florida, he has always had a passion for the beautiful game of soccer. Sanchez has traveled to the other side of the pond dozens of times just to take in soccer matches, namely in Spain and Italy. His favorite matches ever have involved AC Milan vs. Inter Milan and Barcelona vs. Real Madrid. If there's anything you want to know about Spanish Primera or Italian Serie A, Sanchez is your man.

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