Group C gets underway on Sunday but Willie Duncan is expecting goals to be at a premium as Italy clash with Spain and Croatia meet Republic of IrelandAfter an explosive start to Euro 2012 on Friday, Saturday’s matches were much tighter with just two goals being scored on the second day of the tournament. And another day which may be high on drama but short on goals is likely when Group C gets underway on Sunday.
Defending champions Spain kick-off against Italy and it is likely that Cesare Prandelli’s men will attempt to keep things tight against Vicente del Bosque’s outfit.
When these two sides met at the quarter-final stage of Euro 2008, neither managed to produce a goal in 120 minutes of football with the contest eventually being settled on penalties.
Of course, without the prospect of the shootout today, Italy would, most likely, be content to settle for a point from their opening group game and are expected to “park the bus” in an attempt to frustrate the Spanish.
Spain will be without striker David Villa, who is missing the tournament through injury, so they may lack their usual cutting edge.
The prices on fewer than three goals are too prohibitive so a bolder bet on fewer than two goals to be scored at 13/8 (2.63) looks to represent outstanding value.
Under 1.5 Goals at 13/8 (2.63) with Paddy Power
In Group C’s second match, Republic of Ireland take on Croatia and, given the Irish’s recent scoring rate, it would be foolish to expect a goal glut in this match either.
Giovanni Trapattoni’s men have failed to score more than one goal in their four previous matches and were held to a 0-0 draw in their final warm-up game against Hungary in Budapest.
Croatia are favourites going into this match but they have suffered a blow with the news that striker Ivica Olic will miss the tournament and they may struggle to break down a disciplined and resolute Irish defence.
It is also worth noting that the most recent friendly between these sides, back in August, ended in a 0-0 draw and, therefore, Paddy Power’s quote of 11/8 (2.38) for there to be fewer than two goals in the match looks to be the best play here.
Under 1.5 Goals at 11/8 (2.38) with Paddy Power
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Willie Duncan is a freelance sports journalist. Willie, from Edinburgh, has covered Scottish football for over 10 years and he specialises in football betting markets from across Europe. You can also follow Willie on Twitter here.
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