The two sides face each other today, with ROI hoping to snatch at least a point
Italy face Republic of Ireland in the last round of Group E fixtures tonight and both sides will be hoping to end the group stages well.
Italy top their group, having beaten Belgium and Sweden in their first two games and they have already qualified for the next round. Republic of Ireland on the other hand have only managed to get one point from their first two games and will be relying on Sweden slipping against Belgium and themselves getting at least a point to potentially bag a place in the next round.
It won’t be easy though – their destiny could lie in the Sweden result and Italy are no easy team to take points from. They haven’t conceded a goal yet at this tournament and have a very sturdy defence. Not only that but they are able to quickly turn defence into attack and get the goals they need to secure the points.
Ireland will need to be at the top of their game tonight but there is no doubt that they will give it their all to try and get into the last 16.
Italy – Giorgio Chiellini
Chiellini has been one of his side’s best players so far. He has been at the heart of an extremely tight Italian defence that hasn’t conceded a goal yet at the tournament and he is also capable of helping start attacks by quickly getting the ball out from the back and helping Italy attack on the counter after pressure from the opposition side.
If he continues to perform to the same standard, then Republic of Ireland will have a very tricky task in trying to get the goals they need to get some points tonight.
Republic of Ireland – Shane Long
Long is arguably one of the Republic of Ireland’s best chances of getting goals. He is their main striker and works tirelessly almost every game for his national side in a bid to get them the wins they need. He’s also one of the most experienced in the squad at 29 and having played in the Premier League for several seasons over the course of his career.
If he continues to work hard and he can get the service he needs, then he could be the one to potentially fire in the first goals of the tournament against Italy.