Group C is one that many people knew Spain was going to win, but after a 1-1 draw with Italy in their opening match, many people are beginning to rethink that. The Spaniards need a convincing result against the Irish to give themselves a little more confidence going in to their final match. On the other hand, the Irish suffered a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Croatia and are in desperate need of something positive. To be honest it really already seems as though the Irish tournament is over with a -2 goal differential and a match against the defending European champions and one of the strongest teams on the planet on the horizon.
The Irish will be fronted, like always, by their main man Robbie Keane. The aged striker may be advanced in years, but his skills are that of a seasoned veteran. Keane is still able to step by defenders with his deft touches and take shots that are hit so hard you only see them once they are rattling the back of the net. Beyond Keane though, the Irish really struggle to find that force in front of net, but maybe this second match against Spain will change that. Shay Given is of course a great keeper, but he conceded 3 goals in match one and is, quite honestly going to have to be looking for a clean sheet against Spain if the Irish want any hope of advancing. It is safe to say that Shay Given will need to have the game of his life in order to help his side advance.
Spain will be coming into this match quite furious after not being able to pull 3 points from an Italy team that surprised Spain and the world by netting the first goal against the Spanish. In their first match the Spanish really did look good and quite honestly all they need to do is hone in on their finishing skills to be able to take advantage of an Irish side who is not nearly as formidable as the Italy squad which they already faced. An unlikely scorer in Cesc Fabregas has recorded the only Spanish goal so far, but many other guys on this team are going to be looking at getting their fair share of the action. Fernando Torres, who missed more than just one chance last week, will be pressured to find the finishing touch it seems that he has been lacking for quite some time now.
Bovada.lv has Spain as being the big favorite as they sit at -450 on the moneyline. As you would expect, the Irish are huge underdogs in this match and currently sit at +1100 on the moneyline; a draw is +425.
I believe, like many others, that Spain is absolutely going to manhandle an Irish squad that is simply not as talented. Spain’s quickness up and down the field coupled with their unmatched technical ability is going to be enough to leave the Irish defense stranded and confused. Look for Spain to win by a scoreline of 2-0 or 3-0. I would be very surprised if the Irish even got one goal past the defending European Champions.
Pick: Spain -1.5 (-120) <– Win by 2 or more goals