Rep Of Ireland v Croatia Sun 10th June – Ireland Can Grab An Early Point
Kick Off: Sunday 10th june
Live on ITV1 7.45pm
According to bookies odds, Ireland are firm favourites to finish bottom of Group C, but in today’s opener against Croatia they can prove that they are not here to just make up the numbers.
Ireland have improved steadily over the last four years under the management of Giovanni Trapattoni, their FIFA ranking boosted from 41st to 18th under his charge.
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While the group looks an extremely tough one to get out of, it’s not inconceivable that the Irish could actually make the quarter finals.
Italy are having problems and their squad isn’t packed with world class talent as is normally expected, and while Spain will be typically hard to play against, Croatia aren’t a team to be too worried about.
Croatia will be expecting Luka Modric to run the show, and the key to Ireland’s success here will be how quiet they can keep the Tottenham playmaker.
Rep Of Ireland 5/2
Everton striker Nikica Jelavic will likely start too, but if Ireland can show the resolve of previous games (they had kept 10 clean sheets in their last 14 matches) they have a real chance of getting through the opening game unscathed.
Richard Dunne has been a pivotal part of Ireland’s defensive lock down, and if he stays fit and well, the Irish could well be celebrating qualifying for the knock out stages in a couple of weeks time.
Ireland played Croatia back in August last year in a pretty evenly contested match that finished 0-0, and there’s no reason to believe that they can’t avoid defeat here.
Tags: Euro 2012