In 2004, a 2-2 draw between Sweden and Denmark ensured Italy were eliminated from the European Championship and eight years on, an identical scoreline between Spain and Croatia would see the Azzurri miss out on the last eight again.
It would be particularly galling for Cesare Prandelli’s team given that an expected victory for them against Ireland, priced at 2/7 by Coral and a 2-2 stalemate in that other Group C clash would mean that all three teams still in with a shout of qualification, would have five points. Nevertheless, in the first instance Italy have to forget about events in Gdansk and concentrate on getting the better of the beleaguered Irish in Poznan.
Given the manner in which Giovanni Trapattoni’s team, Stan James’ 10/1 underdogs, have defended so far in the tournament, it’s easy to envisage a relatively straightforward success for the Azzurri, who are just 4/5 via BetVictor to emerge triumphant by at least two goals.
Paddy Power offer 9/4 for a more comprehensive margin of three or more but not wanting to depart with a whimper, Ireland could show a bit more resilience and Ladbrokes’ 11/2 for a 2-0 Italian success is arguably the best bet ahead of the Stadion Miejski contest.
Italy to beat Ireland 2-0 – 11/2 (Ladbrokes)