Group C will come to an end today, Monday June 18th, as Italy takes on Ireland in 2012 EURO action. Also in Group C are heavy favorites to advance Spain vs Croatia. Euro oddsmakers have Italy as -325 moneyline favorites to beat Ireland (+900) with the over/under listed at 2.5 goals. Be sure to make your Italy vs Ireland predictions before the match kicks off.
A scoreless or 1-1 draw between Croatia and Spain coupled with an Italian victory will require further tiebreaking procedures that could result in any combination of these teams advancing. If Ireland claims their first point of the tournament, via either a win or draw, Italy will be eliminated and Croatia and Spain will both advance with the winner of their game earning first in the group.
Italy earned draws in both games but will perhaps look back on the Croatia game with regret at how they played in the second half. After Andrea Pirlo gave the Italians the lead with a curving free kick in the 39th minute of their second match, Italy rarely threatened, instead choosing to absorb Croatia’s attacks, a tactic that backfired. Italy coach Cesare Prandelli questioned the conditioning level of his team.
“After an hour our physical level drops,” said Prandelli. “We’ve got to figure out how to manage our energy in the next match. We’re lacking freshness in that phase of the match.”
Ireland is left only to play for points and pride after dropping both games, something their head coach says they will do right to the end. “It’s important to go back to the same attitude, mentality and commitment we had in the qualifying matches,” Trapattoni said in English, as he read from a prompt sheet. “Against Italy, we play for our honour and the honour of the nation.”
The Bottom Line: Italy should take this one, but a draw wouldn’t surprise me. Want to dominate the books this season with some of the best EURO Picks Experts in the business? Then sign up right now and get EURO Picks Free!
Italy vs Ireland
When: Monday, June 18th@2:45 PM EST
Pick: Italy -325
Point-Spreads recommends you make your Croatia vs Spain predictions before the match kicks off.