Repulic of Ireland - To Qualify from Group C
|08-06-2012, 12:00||Repulic of Ireland - To Qualify from Group C
League: EURO 2012, International
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND TO QUALIFY FROM GROUP C
The RoI are the complete outsiders in Group C - you can find 20/1 about them winning a 4-team group to put their chance in perspective.
But we all know the Irish thrive on their status as underdogs. They will be many neutral nation's favourites and they will give their all. Whilst I can't see them destroying any team in the tournament, they can grind out results with the best of them and they have nothing to lose and will fear no-one.
They regularly get results against Spain and Italy - mostly draws, but that could be enough to get out of the group.
The first game in the group is between the two heavyweights - Spain vs Italy. It's likely that Italy will see a draw here as good enough and may play for that result - Spain too, may be content to avoid defeat and ease themselves into the tournament. Spain have become the Arsenal (olf Arsenal that is) of the international scene, winning 1-0 and maintaining 65%+ possession. I think that could be a big mistake for one of these sides.
In the next game, RoI take on Croatia - again as underdogs - in perhaps the pivotal game of the group as far as these two teams are concerned. The losers can pack their bags and cancel the breakfast newspaper a week hence. Let's remind ourselves that Ireland finished 2nd in their group, 2pts behind Russia and losing just one game. Croation lost two games in qualifying out of, arguably, a weaker group. I don't think Croatia have many match winners to trouble the Republic and I can see Ireland keeping a clean sheet and snatching a goal.
Italy were impressive in qualification and must always be respected in major tournaments. They have a good squad, but it is their history and pedigree that is making them overwhelming favourites to qualify out of this group. Ireland has met Italy many times in recent years and has held its own - and will fancy their chances of getting a point at least. That could well be enough if they have won their first game and sent the Croats on a rescue win-at-all-costs mission for the last two games.
In the middle game against Spain, the Irish like the majority of Spain's opponents will attempt to keep their defences tight, soak up the pressure and try to hit them on the counter attack. Ireland have soem good results against the Spanish maestros and are as good as Italy at defendng doggedly. A point in this game and it could be Italy needing to win the final game against Ireland and the Irish just needing a point - I can't think of a team better able to shut out an attack if a stalemate is required.
Whatever happens with this bet, the Irish rarely let themselves, their nation, or their supporters down and that's good enough for me. I genuinely think Spain and Italy are overbet because they are the more likely winners of the tournament - which is true. But first they have to get out of a mini-league of just three games and they just get bitten if they have penciled in three points against the team from the Emerald Isle. Ireland have a great chance to beat Croatia and sit top of the table after the first round of games. From that position, two - possibly one - draws will be sufficient. That looks achievable and worth a small bet at the odds.
Posted on: 21.05.2012, 17.53 CET (Viewed: 718 times)
Match starts on: June 08, 2012
You must be logged in to post a comment! Sign up + or log in in the top right corner.
Yes! I agree! I put the same bet! Even I am from former Yougoslavia... So, who will be the other team together with Italy? Ireland or Croatia??? Maybe we will get the answer already the first day in this group - maybe Ireland will win against Croatia. This could be possible. I advice Ireland to put all they have exactly on tis match - because then they would need just 2 points of the matches with Spain and Italy to qualify out of this group C.