Euro 2012 - How well can Ireland do in their first major tournament since 2002?

It has been 10 years since the Republic of Ireland made it to a major international tournament. For this reason, Euro 2012 is extra special for them and even though football betting pundits aren't expecting much, they will be out to upset the odds.

Much talk has been of England of course with their problems finding a manager, Wayne Rooney's  suspension and all the other baggage attached with England ahead of a major tournament.

Republic of Ireland are much more organised though and with Giovanni Trapattoni as their manager, preparation will be detailed and affective. They will fancy their chances of causing a few problems this summer.

As mentioned though, they are one of the minnows as far as the betting is concerned. Those betting on football will see that their odds to win the tournament are 100/1 with Bet Victor, so they are not a major contender.

They are not even expected to get out of their group, with Spain, Italy and Croatia making up the rest of Group C. Will they even get a point? Will they score a goal? These are the questions some will ask.

However, there are three reasons why Ireland will do a lot better than those placing football bets might expect. Underestimate them and you could come unstuck.

Underdog Tag

One of the biggest problems going into a major tournament can be expectation. No-one expects to much of Ireland and they will relish in it. They will take the game to the big teams and fear no-one.

Team spirit

If there is one thing that Ireland have it is team spirit. This group of players has been together for a while now and they will work together as one. There are no big egos in this team.

Robbie Keane

The LA Galaxy striker is their leading goalscorer and captain. He is desperate to turn on the style this summer and who would back against him? He is a goalscorer and will cause every defence he comes up against problems.

You can even get 66/1 with Ladbrokes for the former Tottenham man to be the leading goalscorer at Euro 2012.

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