Republic of Ireland need to bounce back from opening day defeat, but have the toughest test possible awaiting them as they face Spain on Thursday.

Spain entered the tournament in Ukraine and Poland as favourites, but were held 1-1 by a stubborn Italy side in their game. After falling behind Cesc Fabregas equalised, whilst La Roja had chances to win the game. Vicente del Bosque raised eyebrows by deciding not to stat with an out-and-out forward in his team, with the side’s midfielders playing in the final third. In this fixture the world champions may well be tempted to start with Fernando Torres or Alvaro Negredo to add a clincal edge and an out ball in their search for goals. Bwin have Spain as overwhelming favourites, with odds of 1.28 for them to get three points.

Republic of Ireland needed to get something out of their first game against Croatia, but in truth they were well-beaten 3-1 by Croatia. Giovanni Trapattoni’s men did have a ray of hope when Shaun St Ledger equalised to make it 1-1, but luck was not on their side on the day. Chances for front pair Robbie Keane and Kevin Doyle were sparing, and against the Spaniards will be even more few-and-far between. The Irish side will look to frustrate the world champions, and if they can get to the interval without conceding will be buoyed on to get a result. Despite this and the widespread fanbase in attendance, Bwin have Ireland as 11.50 longshots.

Spain will look to get back on track and will be too good for an ageing and tired Ireland side. My Euro 2012 football betting tip is a 2-0 win to Spain, which Bwin have at odds of 5.50.

[bwin event=2509338]

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