Italy vs Ireland Preview | Team News, Key Men and Stats

Italy vs Ireland Preview | Team News, Key Men and Stats

Republic of Ireland have a daunting task at their hands if they are to qualify to the round of 16. The 1-1 Draw against Sweden and a 3-0 thrashing means that not only should Republic of Ireland beat Italy, Sweden must drop points against Belgium in order for them to have a realistic chance at qualification. However,  manager Martin O'Neil is unperturbed and believes that his side has all it takes to qualify for the next round. Team News Italy …
Belgium v Republic of Ireland Preview | Team News and Key Men

Belgium v Republic of Ireland Preview | Team News and Key Men

Belgium will face the Republic of Ireland in what could be a pivotal encounter in Group E that may decide the fate of Marc Wilmots' side after their opening round loss to Italy. It was not the scoreline or the result that may have troubled the Red Devils but it was the manner in which they collectively failed against an organised and well drilled Azzurri outfit masterminded by Antonio Conte. Although, the next two games, including the one on Saturday …
Anaethetising the opposition: passing & shooting analysis for Euro 2012

Anaethetising the opposition: passing & shooting analysis for Euro 2012

The key is to control the game. If we have the ball, he'll participate less and cause us fewer problems.
The above quote by Gerard Piqué about Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of the semi-final with Portugal summed up Spain's approach during Euro 2012. In a typically excellent piece by Sid Lowe for the Guardian (from which the above quote is taken), Spain's approach is described as being anaesthetic rather than aesthetic. The crux is that by controlling the ball, Spain are able to …
Italy 1-1 Croatia Report & Why Croatia were 39.8% ‘Luckier’? [PDO v2]

Italy 1-1 Croatia Report & Why Croatia were 39.8% ‘Luckier’? [PDO v2]

Both the Azzurri and Croatia came into this game unchanged and in full confidence after their recent performances against Spain and the Republic of Ireland. Italy’s first half performance was comfortable - with the midfield trio of Pirlo, Marchisio and Thiago Motta running the show and the front line of Balotelli - Cassano were provided with constant ammunition. It was Andrea Pirlo who broke the deadlock with a trademark placed free kick from 25 yards out. Incredibly, Pirlo became the …
Euro 2012: Analysing the Winning Formula | Champions Analysis

Euro 2012: Analysing the Winning Formula | Champions Analysis

With Euro 2012 nearly upon us, a lot of money is exchanging hands between punters and bookmakers to predict the outcome of this prestigious event. Favourites to win Euro 2012 include, World Cup '10 winners and current European Championship holders, Spain as well as 3-time Euro winners Germany. Both Spain and Germany posted 100% win percentages during qualification and are seen as hot favourites  to take the 14th European Football Championship. Armed with this information, it would appear to be a …