Republic of Ireland might be underdogs to qualify from Group C, but here are five good reasons why you can put your faith in the Boys in Green to reach the quarter finals.
1. History is on their side
Ireland have made it past the group phase in every major tournament they have played in since World Cup 1990 – that’s three tournaments (WC ’90, WC ’94 and WC ’02).
In World Cup 1994 in USA they eliminated Italy in the group stages, and they will be hoping to do the same in Euro 2012 after being grouped with the Italians again.
In 1990 they managed to make it through a group containing England and the Netherlands, and in World Cup 2002 they escaped from their group alongside eventual runners-up Germany.
Ireland have a fantastic record in the early stages of major tournaments, and so betting on them to make it through Group C at 4/1 could represent great value.
New customers who open a new bwin account qualify for a free, £25 bet, and using that to back Ireland to progress to the quarter-finals at 4/1 will return £125 if successful.
2. Ireland have a good recent record against their opponents
Ireland have played all three of their Euro 2012 group opponents in recent memory and haven’t lost to any of them.
In World Cup 2002, an Irish team containing Robbie Keane, Shay Given and Damian Duff held Spain to a 1-1 draw (although they eventually succumbed on penalties), while Trapattoni’s men beat Italy 2-0 in a friendly in Liege in January 2011 and drew 0-0 with Croatia in August of the same year.
A win and two draws in Euro 2012 Group C would probably be enough to see Ireland through again. Bwin are offering odds of 11/5 on Ireland drawing with Croatia again in their opening match, compared to 27/10 on a win and 21/20 on a defeat.
3. Ireland are on a fantastic run of form
Ireland are unbeaten in their last 14 games.
The Boys in Green haven’t lost an international match since a 3-2 friendly defeat to Uruguay in March 2011, and they haven’t lost a competitive match since a 3-2 defeat to Russia in October 2010.
Monday’s 0-0 draw with Hungary in their final Euro 2012 warm up match was their 14th game in a row unbeaten, and they are nine unbeaten in competitive ties.
Of those 14 they have won eight and drawn six – that’s a good record by anybody’s standards.
4. Ireland’s squad is brimming with big-tournament experience.
Manager Giovanni Trapattoni led Italy to World Cup 2002 and Euro 2004, while goalkeeper Shay Given, winger Damian Duff and striker Robbie Keane all featured in Ireland’s last tournament appearance in World Cup ’02.
On top of that, players like John O’Shea, Aiden McGeady, Darren O’Dea, Robbie Keane and Darron Gibson all have top-level experience in the Champions League with previous clubs and so they are used to performing on the big stage.
Experience at this level can be crucial, and Ireland have it in abundance.
5. Ireland can count on fan power
Ireland are renowned the world over for the passion and dedication of their support, and there are few teams who will bring a fan base as loud, as colourful and as large in numbers as the Irish will to Euro 2012.
With such a vocal support behind them, Ireland will be hoping that the Green and White Army will be like having a 12th man.
New customers who register with bwin qualify for a free £25 bet, and using that to back Ireland to progress to the quarter-finals at 4/1 will return £125 if successful.
New customers can register here to claim a free £25 bet or click here to see all our Euro 2012 odds.
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