Italy can qualify for the Euro 2012 quarter-finals with a win over Republic of Ireland, but will have one eye on the other game and hope Croatia are beat to help their cause.
Italy have drawn both of their games to date 1-1, with the Azzurri now in need of a win on Monday to ensure that they can get through to the last eight. Cesare Prandelli’s men have put initial poor preparation behind them, and have looked combative and assured without really excelling in the final third. As such Prandelli must decide who to play up front, with Antonio Cassano, Mario Balotelli and Antonio Di Natale all vying for two places in attack. Andrea Pirlo scored in the draw against Croatia and is the side’s heartbeat and orchestrator. Bwin have Italy as favourites for the game at odds of 1.25 for a victory.
Republic of Ireland have looked out of their depth so far in the competition and as such have been beaten thoroughly by both Croatia and Spain, conceding seven goals and scoring just once. Giovanni Trapattoni will be motivated to get a positive result to end his side’s campaign, and will also been eager to prove himself against his homeland. For season professionals like Robbie Keane, Richard Dunne and Shay Given this is likely to be the last swansong at international level, and as such the experienced players will be keen to finish with a bang. Despite this, Bwin give long odds of 11.50 for Ireland to upset the apple cart.
Italy will get desperate the longer the game goes without a goal, but should have the better of Ireland. My Euro 2012 football betting tip is a 1-0 win to Italy, which Bwin have at odds of 7.00.
Tags: Antonio Cassano, Antonio di Natale, Cesare Prandelli, Euro 2012, Giovanni Trapattoni, Group C, Italy, Italy odds, Italy vs Republic of Ireland, Mario Balotelli, Republic of Ireland, Republic of Ireland odds, Richard Dunne, Robbie Keane, Shay Given