Euro 2012 betting preview - Group C - Ireland 2/2
In the last Euro 2012 betting preview article we focused on available Irish Euro 2012 betting odds and their die hard defense. You find that article HERE. This write up focuses more on the midfield and attacking options that the Republic of Ireland brings to the Euro 2012 table. As they are in a tough group with Croatia, Italy and Spain what they bring better be of high standards. Let’s get to work:
Aiden McGeady (Spartak Moscow) 47 caps,2 goals. McGeady is a very tricky and creative winger. He beats players with ease but not always the best with his final ball. Covers the left side mainly but can switch flanks and is also capable of playing behind the front men. One mark against him is he should score more goals. Has had a good season for Spartak after a shaky start and is coming into form at the right time.
Glenn Whelan(Stoke) 37 caps,2 goals. Good passing range and an eye for the long range strike. Looks to be the starting man for the central midfield role. Very strong in the tackle the combative Irishman has had a good season for Stoke. Has upped his game considerably and seems to improve every season.
Keith Andrews (West Brom) 27 caps, 3 goals. A very similar player to Whelan, Keeps the play simple and will be hustling opposing players. Combative midfielder who has played most of his career at a lower level.
Damien Duff (Fulham) 95 caps, 8 goals. Duff will patrol the right flank, less of an out and out flyer that he was in his youth, but that said; he now also can control his temper and remain cool, calm and collected a tad better too. He is still capable of beating a player, but he is relying more on good passing and crossing these days. Duff try and add width to the game and will hope to supply a steady line of crosses for Doyle and Keane up front. Damien Duff has a very high work rate, and he is disciplined to help out defensively whenever needed.
Young, and very talented James McCarthy of Wigan might have been given the nod, but he is out of the tournament.
On paper it's only an average midfield with limited quality. The creators on the wings are of a good level but will have to be performing at maximum to get anything from the three group games. The central midfield partnership isn't good enough, offensively limited they will be hoping to do a job of containment whilst then hoping the attacking wide men and the strikers can create. On a bright note; this will make the Irish even more formidable in defense.
Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy) 115 caps,53 goals. Irelands captain and talisman. The main man is integral to how far they can progress. Keane is quick, good with both feet and very clinical. He is capable of scoring all kinds of goals from wherever on the pitch. His link up play is top notch, and he has developed a good understanding with Kevin Doyle. The only worry for Keane is the drop in level of club football. The US MLS, although improving, is a huge drop in quality from the EPL. The question is, will he be slightly off the pace stepping up massively in class?
Kevin Doyle (Wolves) 46 caps, 10 goals. The Wolves man is an ideal strike partner for Keane. Doyle is a very hard working forward with good awareness and team play. He is excellent in the air also. He may have had a knock to his confidence however as he hasn't had the best of seasons in front of goal.
Shane Long of West Brom is also a decent striker that can come in and deputize for any of the two aforementioned guys.
Usually, pretty much everything rests on the broad and strong shoulders of Robbie Keane. He has a great goal scoring record at the international level. The Irish will yet again look for him to lead. That said: The main play for Republic will be Duff and McGeady looking to get wide and both trying to supply crosses for the aerial ability of Doyle. At the same time Keane will be looking to make himself available close to Doyle. Keane has great instinct inside the box to find space, and if the wings have their day Ireland can easily get a goal or two.
Republic of Ireland throughout the years is used to being in this position. A real collective effort has got them to Poland/Ukraine. Their players may be of lesser quality than all the Group C rivals but their team spirit is at a maximum. Good old, Trappatoni is also a quality manager, he will surely have them primed and ready to go.
It will be fun to watch them play this all-round solid at the back, down the wing we go to cross to high flying Center Forwards type of football. You may call it primitive, you may call it ancient. That may be true, but it still is darn effective. Good Luck Ireland!