Ireland Euro 2012 betting

Giovanni Trapattoni leads an Ireland side with more motivation in qualification than many others. The image of the 2010 World Cup Qualification remains Thierry Henry’s handball in the deciding playoff between the Irish side and France. Robbed of victory they deserved across both legs, France went on to flop in South Africa, and now many of the side face their last chance of a major international tournament in Poland and Ukraine 2012.

Ireland Euro 2012 odds

The squad is built around players like Shay Given, Richard Dunne, Damien Duff and Robbie Keane. These players have helped raise the game of this squad, and as they’ve steered Ireland for the past few years, the squad has now been layered with a second layer of quality. John O’Shea, Stephen Hunt, Kevin Doyle and Keith Andrews have added experience, whilst younger players such as Seamus Coleman, Shane Long and Darron Gibson have made them a strong squad rather than just a strong first XI.

To qualify for Euro 2012 they must battle through a tough group, with Russia and Slovakia their most difficult opposition. As things stand, Ireland are second in their group, Group B, two points behind Russia and joint on seven points with both Slovakia and Armenia. Although beaten at home to Russia they then earned a solid away point in Slovakia, and having started off with a win in Armenia the Irish should be confident of securing points at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium, and gain at least a playoff place when the group stage finishes.

The problem for them may be how their better players perform the older they get. Dunne will be 32, Keane (a likely bet for the sides top scorer) nearly the same age as him and Damien Duff 33. Shay Given will be 36, and will hope to leave Manchester City and obtain first team football before then. Luckily for Trappattoni his squad has a mix of experience and youth.

Ireland best bets

Future stars will have further experience, and exciting players like Kevin Doyle, Shane Long, Aiden McGeady and Darron Gibson will bring a breath of fresh air. Their last major tournament won them many new friends with a cavalier style. The World Cup of 2002 will have been 10 years passed by the time Euro 2012 kicks off, and after that tournament no one would have guessed such a gap between tournaments would exist for the Irish side.

If they do make it, their cavalier style and hunger for the big stage could see them as the shock side of the group stages, and will be worth backing at a decent price to make the knockout stage.