Euro 2012: Spain vs Republic of Ireland Preview


After losing 3-1 to Croatia in the opening match the Irish need a victory against Spain to keep their tournament hopes alive. That seems highly unlikely though as Spain need the win themselves.

Here are the probable line ups:

SPAIN

Casillas - Arbeloa, Ramos, Pique, Alba - Busquets, Xabi Alonso - Silva, Xavi, Iniesta - Torres

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND

Given - O'Shea, Dunne, St Ledger, Ward - Duff, Andrews, Whelan, McGeady - Keane, Long

Vicente del Bosque was widely criticized for choosing to start the game against Italy without a striker but with Cesc Fabregas as a spearhead. This time the Spanish coach might field Fernando Torres upfront, with Alvaro Negredo and Fernando Llorente also in contention for the starting berth. Fabregas might not play at all as he isn't fully fit after coming into the tournament with a thigh injury.

Ireland have some injury worries of their own. Richard Dunne is suffering from blisters and fatigue after the match against Croatia, but the defender might endure the pain and play against Spain. Shay Given and Darron Gibson also missed training on Monday but coach Giovanni Trapattoni has stated that the two are now match fit.

The last meeting between Spain and Ireland was in the 2002 World Cup, in the last 16. The match finished in a 1-1 draw, but the Spaniards qualified by winning 3-2 in the penalty shoot-out.

Here are the match odds from Bet365:

Spain - 1/4

Draw - 5/1

Ireland - 12/1

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