Republic of Ireland will need to do something that no other team in Group E has accomplished in the first two games… Score goals. Can they do it? Will Burns has his thoughts below…
Wednesday 22nd June 2016 – 20:00 BST
EURO 2016 – GROUP E
ITALY v REPUBLIC OF IRELAND
Antonio Conte’s Italy are yet to concede a goal in the tournament after defeating Belgium and Sweden by 2-0 and 1-0 respectively. They have coasted through to the last 16 already and there are certain of first place because of their head-to-head record against Belgium, so Conte will give his second string an outing in this game, which explains why they are such a big price at 2.40 at Bet365.
Ireland have majorly disappointed, drawing 1-1 in a poor game against Sweden and then were thumped by Belgium by three goals. Martin O’Neill’s know this is a must-win game and will have to try and break the Italians down, which is a very risky approach that could spring goals in this game.
There is a lot of pace on the Italian bench that could feature in this encounter including Stephan El Shaarawy who could really damage the Irish defence. With Italy such a big price, and the desperation of Ireland in this game, I think Italy to win is far big a price to ignore, especially when the quality of Ciro Immobile, Simone Zaza, El Shaarway, Thiago Motta have the ability to tear O’Neill’s boys apart.
Ireland have Shane Long as their major threat and I do feel Ireland could grab a goal, however the Italians are resilient and I still see them capable of winning this game. If you don’t want to risk your cash on the Italy win, Italy Draw No Bet is available for 1.62 at Bet365.
If you’re betting… good luck!
TIP: Italy to win (2.40 at Bet365)