Ireland v Croatia: Boys in Green can take big step to qualification
Ireland’s preparations for the European Championships have been rather less dramatic than England’s.
There’s been no major injury problems, no selection issues and no late managerial changes – and all of that puts the Boys in Green in a great position to spring a surprise and get out of a group that also contains Italy and Spain.
With those two teams yet to come, both Ireland and Croatia know this is essentially a must win game if they are to have any hope of progressing.
However, it’s Ireland who can be more confident of picking up the required three points…
Ireland head into this game as the 5/2 outsiders but are currently on a 14 match unbeaten run.
They have lost just one of their previous six games against Croatia who have won only one of their previous four games leading up to the tournament.
The Croats are 13/10 to get the victory which looks a little too short when considering the respective fortunes of the teams.
Ireland are a tough, well organized side and the 5/2 offered for them to take the win looks a far more tempting proposition.
Ireland shipped just seven goals in their ten qualifying group games and, with Croatia defender Vedran Corluka passed fit to play, this has all the makings of a tight affair.
With their last match ending goalless and Ireland poised to stick to their defensive game, backing under 2.5 goals at 1/2 may be worth consideration.
Finally, Robbie Keane’s seven goals in qualifying was bettered only by two other players and Ireland’s record goalscorer is 2/1 to score at any time.