Live on ITV1: Sun 19.45: The Republic of Ireland are widely tipped to finish bottom of Group C and if they lose to Croatia in their first match in Poznan, that will almost certainly turn out to be the case.
Giovanni Trapattoni’s men are Boylesports’ 14/5 outsiders to give themselves a chance of progression by edging out the Croats and 9/4 (Paddy Power) to pick up a decent point but Slaven Bilic’s team could be something of a surprise package in Euro 2012 and they have to be fancied at 6/5 with Betfred to prevail in this one.
Nevertheless, the Irish are rarely an easy opponent to face and they will undoubtedly make Croatia work for their maximum haul. A case can therefore be made for Coral’s 11/2, posted against a 1-0 triumph for Bilic’s charges, who are also on offer at 11/4 via Blue Square to nick it by a one-goal margin.
Everton striker Nikica Jelavic meanwhile, enjoyed an impressive end to the season domestically and he has to be fancied to make an impact against defenders he’ll be used to facing. Bet365 make the former Rangers strike 11/2 to notch first and he’s 2/1 courtesy of the same firm to notch at any time.
Croatia to beat Ireland by a one-goal margin – 11/4 (Blue Square)