Match Previews: June 18

Group C point totals going into today:

Spain- 4

Croatia- 4

Italy- 2

Ireland- 0

Here are the somewhat confusing scenarios according to

• Spain have the simplest task – a draw ensures qualification, a win ensures first place. If Spain draw 1-1 and Italy win 4-0, Spain would finish first ahead of Italy on coefficient.

• Croatia will definitely qualify, as group winners, with victory. They will also be through with any draw other than 0-0 or 1-1. If their game is 0-0 and Italy win, Croatia are out. In the case of a 1-1 draw, they will only be through if Italy do not beat Ireland by 3-1 or better. If it is 1-1 and Italy win exactly 3-1, the Azzurri will be second on coefficient. Croatia can afford to lose if Italy do not win.

• Italy have to win and hope the other game does not finish in a high-scoring draw of 2-2 or more. If the other game finishes 1-1 they must win by 3-1 or better to finish above Croatia or better than 4-0 to top the group. If the other game finishes 0-0, an Italy win would take them through as group winners.

Spain vs. Croatia

Spain needs a point to progress and will look to play their signature style against a weaker Croatia side. If Italy fails to win then both teams move to quarterfinals. I think Spain will win 2-0

Italy vs. Ireland

Former Italy player and coach Giovanni Trapatonni and his Ireland team are playing for pride and for their fans. Italy must win to keep their quarterfinal hopes alive. I think this game will end in a 1-1 draw.


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