Euro 2012 Predictions: Spain vs Italy. Ireland vs Croatia

Spain vs Italy (1700 GMT)

Todays Group C games start with an interesting clash between the current holders, and a revitalised Italy team who were beaten in this fixture at the quarter-finals stage four years ago, on penalties.

Many people will expect Spain to walk away with this, but you have to remember they were beaten by Switzerland in their first game of the World Cup two years ago.

Italy also have conceded just 2 goals in 9 qualifying games, the best defensive record of any team. The Azzurri will play a 3-5-2 formation and look to frustrate a glowing Spanish midfield, much like Chelsea did to Barcelona just weeks ago.

Im backing a draw in this game, and don’t be surprised if bad-boy Balotelli gets on the scoresheet against a nervy Spanish defence.


Prediction: Spain 1 (Fabregas) Italy 1 (Balotelli)


Ireland vs Croatia (1945 GMT)

Ireland have already confirmed their line-up for this game, and with being outsiders in the group, this is the one game they need to win should they have a chance of qualifying.

They will look to frustrate teams and keep it tight at the back, like they have done in the run up to the tournement, 11 clean sheets kept in 14 games.

Despite Jelavic being in superb form domestically, I think he will struggle today, and I am backing Ireland to nick an important victory in front of thousands of Irish that have made the journey.

Prediction: Ireland 1 (Doyle) Croatia 0


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