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Euro 2012 final fixture for Sunday, July 1st

View of an empty tribune of the Olympic Stadium in Kiev taken on June 30, 2012, on the eve of the team's Euro 2012 football championships final match (credit: GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/GettyImages)

Reigning champions Spain take on Italy tonight in the final of Euro 2012.

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Spain are the bookmakers' favourites to win and successfully defend their European crown when the two sides meet at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev (19:45 BST kick-off).

A win would see Spain become the first team in history to successfully defend their European Championship title with victory tonight. They would also become the first European side to win three consecutive major tournaments.

They face a tough task though against Italy, who have been transformed under coach Cesare Prandelli. Prandelli has faced Spain twice while in charge of the Azzurri and has never lost. Italy beat them 2-1 in a friendly in August 2011, before drawing their opening game of Euro 2012, 1-1.

Other than that draw earlier in the tournament, the only other European Championship meetings between the two sides were in 1980 (0-0) and 1988 (Italy 1-0 Spain).

Tonight's final, which could have a global television audience of over 300million viewers, is set to be a thriller. It will be the fourth time that the European Championship final has provided a rematch of a group match. And for stats fans, Greece won both encounters against Portugal in 2004, as did Germany in 1996 against the Czech Republic. Netherlands lost to the USSR in the opening game in 1988, but took revenge with victory in the final.

Can the favourites make it three major tournament wins in a row, or can Italy spring what some would call a huge surprise?


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Euro 2012 final fixture for Sunday, July 1st

Reigning champions Spain take on Italy tonight in the final of Euro 2012.

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