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Group C contains some soccer superpowers, and also some teams that can potentially cause upsets, which makes things difficult to predict. The countries in group C and their respective FIFA world rankings are:

Croatia had a decent qualifying round for this years Euro tournament, finishing 2nd behind Greece, yet with a higher goal differential (+11). Croatia has upset big teams in the past, and they have an opportunity to do it again (remember the World Cup in ’98 against Germany?). They are ranked 8th in the world for a reason, Luka Modric is a game changer.

Ireland also finished 2nd in their qualifying round, behind 1st place Russia in their group. They have a tough draw here, but I wouldn’t put it past them to pull off a couple of ties, or maybe even an upset against Italy or Croatia. They don’t let in a lot of goals (only 7 in 10 qualifying games), and they tend to hang around in big games.

Italy isn’t performing like the Italy of old, and all of this scandal nonsense could be weighing down on some of the players’ minds. However, they did have a strong qualifying round defensively, letting in only 2 goals in 10 games, which is impressive. But the Italian soccer mentality of getting a goal and sitting back to defend has come back to bite them before, so they need to be careful with these other dangerous teams in the group. They can’t afford to sit on leads.

Spain is probably the tournament favourite on any gambling site. They won the last Euro tournament in 2008, as well as the World Cup in 2010. Although they are without David Villa and Puyol, they are obviously still dangerous. Torres isn’t in his best form, but he did just help Chelsea win the Champions League Final. Spain’s approach to games is to basically wait until the other team gets tired, and then strike. Their last 4 wins in the world cup were 1-0 victories, with the goals coming in the 2nd half. Look for more of the same in this tournament.

Group C Prediction:

  1. Spain (7 pts)
  2. Italy (5 pts)
  3. Croatia (2 pts)
  4. Ireland (1 pt)

Spain should make it through, along with Italy. The two teams may tie each other, and Italy may tie one of the others in the group. This group should be close though.

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