Sunday July 1 2012
Pardew tips Italy for Euro 2012

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew tips Italy to win tonight’s Euro 2012 Final, as they have “a better mixture to their game” than Spain.

These two sides already faced off in the group phase on June 10 and drew 1-1.

“In coming through to the final, Italy have done what they invariably do, getting better after starting slowly,” Pardew told The Independent.

“They deserved to beat Germany in Thursday’s semi-final, tactically getting it just right and showing the balance between possession and impacting on the opposition.

“With Andrea Pirlo’s long passes, they had a better mixture to their game than the Germans, and indeed Spain.

“I know Pirlo has played that role for a long time, but using such a creative player in a deep position is one of those concepts that could catch on – if you can find the right player with the ability to dictate the pace of the game.

“For me, Portugal had the best game plan against the Spanish, pressing them and keeping them goalless in the semi-final.

“Don’t expect Italy to concede too much possession, although an extra day’s rest at this stage of a tournament can make an awful lot of difference and that is in Spain’s favour.

“Italy have been very unlucky in that respect to go into a Final with only two days’ preparation, which is not really enough.

“They may suffer for that, and yet I have sneaky feeling for them, with Pirlo emerging as the player of the tournament ahead of Andres Iniesta.”