Italy vs Republic of Ireland by Enzo
Despite the odds, Italians did great job in first two rounds and thanks to their great performances, but also results in other matches, the team didn't only manage to secure the progress after two rounds, but at the same time to secure the first position after only two games played.
Even if they lose the game against Republic of Ireland and if Belgium wins over Sweden, they will remain first at the table and will be going into the knockout stage from that position. Moreover, they already know their opponent in the last sixteen round and that would be Spain, so there's no doubt that the Italian side has very little to gain in this one and will probably field rotated squad here in order to keep their best players fresh for the most important game for now.
Their coach Antonio Conte already confirmed that he will be making number of changes for the game. Antonio Candreva is doubtful, but anyway wouldn't play in this one. The should be fielded up in 3-5-2 formation with Zaza and Immobile upfront. Players like Buffon, Bonucci, Chiellini, Motta, De Rossi and Eder are all one booking away from suspension and surely will not be risked here.
Ireland were very poor against Belgium last time out and even if they get a victory here, that probably won't be enough for them to qualify, since the team now has terrible goal difference with one goal scored and four conceded.
They did quite well in opener against Sweden and fought well to a 1:1 draw, however their game plan completely collapsed in the second round, against Belgium especially in the second halftime when they suffered 3:0 defeat. Midfielder Jonathan Walters missed their defeat against Belgium with a heel problem and remains huge doubt for this game as well.
Manager Martin O'Neill is probably opting for 4-3-1-2 formation here, with changes in the defense after poor performances last time out. Shane Duffy and Richard Keogh could replaced Ciaran Clark and John O'Shea in the middle of defense. Shane Long could also be dropped to bench, in favor of Daryl Murphy.
Despite the fact that they need to get a victory in order to keep the chances, I don't see Irish side breaking Italian defense that easy at all. Italians will probably not be that interested for this match and even though the bet might not be the most usual one, I simply can't see here more than a goal being scored.