As Euro 2012 grew closer, the optimism amongst pundits (us included) that Ireland would perform well grew bigger every day, so Sunday’s 3-1 defeat to Croatia was a bitter disappointment for the pro-Irish brigade.
Their opponents tonight, world and European champions Spain kicked off their campaign with a thrilling 1-1 draw against Italy where for most of the game they played without an orthodox striker.
The Spanish are very strong favourites to win tonight at 2/7 and those are fair odds, Ireland’s display on Sunday means they need to get something from this game but quotes of 14/1 for a win just don’t appeal. The Irish need to muster up the spirit (and more) of their great major finals wins over England and Italy in 1988 and 1994 respectively to take maximum points here and a draw might be the ceiling of their wildest dreams.
We expect Ireland to put up a bold show and to right the defensive wrongs of Sunday night by keeping Spain at bay for long periods. We expect their rearguard action to return to the form which saw Ireland go 14 games unbeaten. But still…we expect this not to be good enough against Spain’s star-studded team.
The Match Prices on this game make no appeal so we suggest backing Draw/Spain at 7/2 with Bet Victor in their Half-Time/Full Time Double Result market. If the game is a draw at half-time but Spain win the game overall then we pocket the cash.
- Spain’s draw on Sunday brought an end to 14 successive victories for them in competitive games
- Ireland’s defeat on Sunday brought an end to their 14 game unbeaten run
- Sunday was the first time in 20 months Ireland had conceded more than two goals in a match