(Sporting Alert) — Fernando Torres has started on the bench for Spain as they begin their quest to defend their European title against Italy at PGE Arena tonight.

Torres, who admitted to being surprised at getting a call up for the tournament, following his slow run since moving to Chelsea last year, will be on the bench with with fellow Chelsea teammate, Juan Mata and Barcelona’s Pedro as Manchester City attacker David Silva and Barca’s Cesc Fábregas start.

As expected, Spanish coach Vicente del Bosque has named a loaded midfield with Barcelona trio Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta and Xavi all starting alongside Real Madrid’s Xabi Alonso.

Meanwhile, Manchester City forward Mario Balotelli starts for Italy.

Spain vs Italy

Spain: Casillas, Arbeloa, Pique, Sergio Ramos, Jordi Alba, Xavi, Busquets, Alonso, Silva, Fabregas, Iniesta

Subs: Valdes, Albiol, Javi Martinez, Juanfran, Pedro, Torres, Negredo, Mata, Llorente, Santi Cazorla, Jesus Navas, Reina

Italy: Buffon, Chiellini, De Rossi, Bonucci, Giaccherni, Marchisio, Pirlo, Thiago Motta, Maggio, Cassano, Balotelli

Subs: Sirigu, Ogbonna Obienza, Balzaretti, Abate, Di Natale, Barzagli, Borini, Montolivo, Giovinco, Diamanti, Nocerino, De Sanctis

Referee: Viktor Kassai (Hungary)


The 2012 Euro tournament started on Friday, June 8 – games will be televised live on ESPN and its networks, including live streaming on 


Walter Hoyos joins SportingAlert as contributor for Spanish football and the Spain national team. I like to travel, one of the favourite things on my list, but I also like to just spend time with family and friends when I am not covering football games. Hope to dump into some of my readers some day.

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