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Ireland draw hope from Chelsea’s Champions League success

| 21.05.2012

Drawn in a ‘Group of Death’ at Euro 2012, Republic of Ireland have their work cut out in progressing to the knockout stages at 4/1.

Pitted against Spain, Italy and Croatia in Group C, Ireland appear the minnows of the group, even bearing in mind the brave nature of their qualifying campaign to reach the tournament.

Their manager Giovanni Trapattoni though, believes they can draw inspiration from Chelsea’s recent Champions League exploits as they prepare to compete in a major tournament for the first time since 2002.

Trapattoni told reporters, “I think we can have confidence. The opponents, we know – Spain, Italy, the same Croatia – are strong. But I said also to the players, the example is like… when Chelsea beat Bayern when Bayern were favourites. That is very important.”

The wily veteran coach is currently preparing his side for a pre-tournament friendly against Bosnia, but insists he will not follow Chelsea’s tactical approach in Munich so vehemently, despite gleaming inspiration from their result.

“We have other players, another attitude. It’s not possible to choose a system or attitude.

“We have confidence about our mentality, our attitude – with this, we have achieved good results. I will say to the players we have to do what we have done until now.”

Those who believe that Trapattoni can lead Ireland to a shock group triumph can back the Boys in Green to win Group C at a big 14/1.

Overcoming world champions Spain to this mantle could prove a step too far, though Ireland will have gained immense confidence from besting Italy en route to the tournament, and thus have serious belief in justifying 4/1 odds to advance past the group stage.

Meanwhile, Ireland are as long a price as any of the 32 teams to win Euro 2012, as 100/1 shots, though even the most ardent of Irish supporters will likely avoid this price.



John Klee