Spain - Ireland Betting Preview: Iniesta to be the difference for the holders

With the Spanish looking for their first win of the tournament, Phil Kitromilides is backing them to be ahead at half-time as well as a goal for the Barcelona forward
Having lost their opening match to Croatia, the task facing Ireland is a formidable one. The Boys in Green must avoid defeat against the reigning world and European champions to stay in the tournament they worked so hard to qualify for.

Sportingbet price an Irish victory at 11/1 (12.00) - one of the biggest prices on an outright victory in any group match in the competition. The draw which would keep the Republic's hopes alive and would be celebrated like a win is on offer at 17/4 (5.25), while the most likely outcome, namely a win for La Roja is offered at 1/4 (1.25).

The price on a Spain win is not immediately appealing even to serious punters looking to invest heavily, yet their interest could be sparked by the price of 1/2 (1.50) for a Spanish victory and over 1.5 goals in the game.

This bet would pay out with anything over a 1-0 win for Spain and given the sheer quality in their ranks, plus the fact that they will be highly motivated for three points given their opening draw with Italy, this looks a nailed on selection.

Yet this is a bet only for serious investment, with the 8/13 (1.61) offered on Spain to be winning at half-time looking like a more attractive option at slightly higher odds.

In terms of a value bet, the goalscorer market as always is an excellent option with Andres Iniesta offered at what looks to be a highly enticing price of 16/5 (4.20) to score at any time.

The Barcelona forward has been in impressive form heading into the tournament and took up a number of dangerous positions in the opening game against Italy. Against an Irish defence which looks porous and at times disorganised, Iniesta could profit greatly, and a small value bet on him to find the net at any time looks like a wise punt.

Spain ahead at half-time at 8/13 (1.61) with Sportingbet

Andres Iniesta to score at any time at 16/5 (4.20) Sportingbet

Sign up with Sportingbet for a Risk Free £50 Bet and Double Rewards Points for Winning first bets

Phil Kitromilides is a sports broadcaster working on radio and TV in London and Madrid, you can also follow Phil on Twitter