|Italy versus Ireland Group C Preview||| Print ||
|Written by Larry Aiello|
|Sunday, 17 June 2012 12:40|
Italy must now produce a win against an Irish team that is probably very demoralized in the way it played against Croatia and Spain. Unfortunately, the fate of Gli Azzurri does not rest in their own hands. They must also hope that Spain and Croatia do not play to a draw. If that were to happen, and Italy does in fact win, then it becomes a three-way tie for the top of the group, with only two of the teams advancing. In that case, the goal differential becomes the deciding factor, and right now it appears that Italy would go home.
Italain Conspiracy Theory?
Many Italians are worried that the Spanish and Croatian soccer teams will want to play for a draw. I don't believe that is the case, as these guys are competitors, and they play to win. Especially at this stage of the tournament, you want to keep the pedal to the metal, so to speak. A good coach will not want his team to let up. So I believe they will both play a good, hard-fought game with a win in mind.
Match-fixing scandal on the other foot?
It is very ironic since many in the Italian soccer league have been accused of match fixing, that now it may turn out to work against them.
2004 Sweden versus Denmark revisited
Ironically it was eight years ago that a draw between Sweden and Denmark caused an early exit for the Italian team. And who was the coach of that team for Italy? The Current Irish Giovanni Trappatoni.
Trappatoni - something to prove?
Coach Trappatoni may want to prove something against his compatriots. He is obviously very familiar with Italian football (calcio). That knowledge, coupled with the fact that the Irish are also playing for pride, could doom the Italian team to a draw or a loss. Even though Trappatoni has publicly said that he wants to remain the Irish coach, you know he wants to rub it in his former employer by producing a win.