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Ireland Euro Cup Betting Prediction – Irish Work Ethic Won’t Be Enough At Euro 2012

Posted by Todd Shale on 5/17/2012 6:19:24 PM

Sports betting players are seeing Ireland at the European Championship for only the second time in their history, and the manager has the team playing inspired soccer. However, they’ll need more than inspiration to even get out of the group stages in Poland and the Ukraine.

Manager: Giovanni Trappattoni (since May 2008)
Best Euro Finish: Group stage (1988)
Soccer Betting Odds: +1400 to win Group B, +7000 to win Euro 2012

Offense

Ireland scored 15 goals in 10 matches during qualification and seven of them came from captain Robbie Keane, who has made a name for himself in England on a number of teams and is now plying his trade in the United States for the Los Angeles Galaxy alongside former England captain David Beckham. Keane can still finish with the best of them and he seems a lot older than 31, which makes him the perfect captain for this Irish squad. But he has to get some support and that could come on the wings via Aiden McGeady and Damien Duff if manager Giovanni Trappottoni decides to use an extra central midfielder. McGeady has long been thought of as the next great Irish star and he has played well since leaving Celtic for Sparta Moscow, and he added two goals and two assists in 2011 for the team. He is going to be crucial because it’s very likely that Keane will be the point man and he can’t do it on his own; with his trickery and pace, McGeady can really burst into the spotlight at Euro 2012.

Don’t forget about Kevin Doyle, who will be the target striker if the manager decides to use two, and the veteran Duff, who is still a threat if he can remain healthy. That has been a running theme throughout Duff’s career, and his country could really use his pace down the win in Poland and the Ukraine.

Defense

The defense could very well be the key to Ireland’s soccer betting odds this summer in a group with Spain, although they did allow just seven goals in 10 matches. Glenn Whelan and Keith Andrews will run their socks off in midfield trying to shield the likes of Richard Dunn and John O’Shea, who are great in the air and have positional sense, but they’re not quick. Sean St. Ledger and Stephen Ward should be on the outside for the Irish, and they’re going to have to stay in position to avoid leaving Dunne and O’Shea on an island.

At the back will be 36-year-old Shay Given, who is enjoying a resurgence after a tough year at Manchester City two seasons ago when he was dropped from the first team, and he is now at Aston Villa playing regular, which is nothing but good for the national team. They don’t have much else in the way of replacements for Given when he retires, and while some may be worrying about a torn hamstring that he suffered early in the season, Given played 32 matches in the Premier League for his club and should be ready to go for what could be his final tournament with the senior side. Ireland may need him to have the best week of his life just to get to the next stage, but if there is one player that Irish fans don’t have to worry about battling nerves or being overwhelmed, it is Given, who has the record with 121 caps for his country.

Intangibles

Trappattoni would have added another honor to his illustrious resume by guiding the team to the World Cup in 2010, but they were cruelly eliminated by an infamous goal against France that involved Theirry Henry and a blatant handball. The program could have fallen apart after that, but Trappattoni pulled the team together and they roared through qualification with six wins and three draws in 10 matches.

All you have to do is look at the honors for “Trap”: nine Serie A titles (two as a player), one Bundesliga crown and a number of European competitions as both a player and manager. He knows what it takes to perform at tournaments like this and that could be most important weapon that the Irish have on their side.

How It Will Play Out

Ireland’s soccer betting odds aren’t looking good for Euro 2012 as they’re rated at +1400 in Group B with Spain, Italy (Trappattoni’s home country) and Croatia, and it may be too much to ask of Ireland to even win their group. They’ll need a massive effort in all three games and a few breaks to go their way; the former, you know they’re going to give, but who knows what will happen for the latter.

The Irish could use this tournament to really state their intentions for Brazil at the World Cup in 2012, and they’re not going to be an easy out. They won’t make it to the second round, though, so stay away from Ireland’s 2012 Euro Cup betting odds this summer.


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