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Italy v R. of Ireland Euro 2012 Preview & Tips
Italy and the Republic of Ireland square off on crucial match this 18th of June, Monday. The 19:45 GMT game kicks off in the Municipal Stadium in Poznan.
Italy has only once chance to make it to the knockout stages, and that chance calls for Cesare Prandelli and his men to win this one while hoping that the game against Spain and Croatia don’t end in a 2-2 or higher draw. Fortunately for the Italians, this is a situation that is not new to them. In Euro 2004, Italy was denied of a place in the quarter finals when Sweden and Denmark held each other out to a 2-2 draw, forcing a three way tie that didn’t work out so well for the Italians.
Good news for Italy as Andrea Barzagli is back from injury and could be fit enough to start this match. Italy hasn’t been convincing defensively in their last two assignments, conceding goals late and giving up games that would have been already won. This has been a story of Prandelli’s 3-5-2 in the tournament so far – a story that is worth of deep tactical discussions – and Barzagli could be the man to give that sought after stability at the back.
R. of Ireland
Republic of Ireland’s 4-0 thrashing suffered at the hands of defending champions Spain handed them early exit papers from the Euros this year. It hasn’t been the best of tournaments so far for the Irish, and Giovanni Trapattoni will be looking to at least end on a winning note against Italy.
Without anything to play for, Trapattoni will look to play a mix of young and old. A number of inexperienced players will be hoping that the manager use this game to give them the opportunity to show what they can do on the pitch, while some senior players like Robbie Keane could be playing their last major tournament. So as it looks, this game could either be a breakout game for Ireland’s young guns at the same time a fitting send-off for a few of their older, more experienced players.
Italy v R. of Ireland Betting Preview
A win here won’t necessarily mean success for the Italians but this fact doesn’t make this game any less valuable for them. In fact expect the Italians to complete their job on the field, thinking about the Spain-Croatia result as they go along. Italy after all are more favoured to win this one head to head against the Irish though they need to be careful; they have been stung twice when taking the lead and Trapattoni’s troops could make it three in a row for them.
Verdict: Italy to win, 2-1.
Tip: Nobody could be looking at Ireland to win this one after such a dismal campaign, so it’s Italy all the way. They are at a modest 1.28 to take this game, 8.50 to win with a 2-1 final score. Ireland has conceded a bag of goals in their last two games, and so this game could go over 2.5 goals at 1.70.
Antonio Di Natale could start this game for a change; he is at 5.50 to score first/last, 2.20 to score antime. Mario Balotelli is also at 2.20 to score anytime – the young striker could finally get the scoresheet in this game although a yellow card is more likely to happen for him than a goal.
All odds are from Bet365.com (£200 FREE BET!).