Republic Of Ireland
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|October 11, 2009 - 2:00am(GMT+6:00)||World Cup Qualifying||Live|
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Republic of Ireland v Italy European World Cup qualifiers Match Preview
The Republic of Ireland's table status
The Irish stand second in Group 8 with sixteen points from eight matches.
They’ve won as much games as they’ve drawn.
Like Italy, they share an unbeaten record in the table. The Republic of Ireland are far ahead of third-placed Bulgaria who have eleven points but they trail Italy by four points.
Italy’s table status
Italy are the group leaders thanks to six victories out of eight encounters. They are the ones that have scored more goals and have conceded less. They protect a four-point lead at the top of Group 8 with twenty points from a possible twenty-four.
General view ahead of Republic of Ireland v Italy
For the Republic of Ireland, the aim of this clash is to minimize the gap that separates them from the Azzurri to only one point by claiming victory.
The Irish know that this will enable them to push things all the way down to the last day of the campaign. However, Marcelo Lippi may not stumble that easily to the hosts’ wish.
The Italian manager has cautiously selected his man-squad for the game and despite ignoring Antonio Cassano again, he is confident of reaching the finals of the World Cup without having to go into the play-offs.
Speaking to CNR Media, Marcelo Lippi acknowledged the Republic of Ireland’s potential before putting his team above prospective obstacles. He declared:
"Giovanni Trapattoni (Ireland's coach) has done really well to make the belief and conviction grow among his group of players.
"Ireland are doing really well and they are four points behind us in the group. But we have the possibility of doing absolutely well and getting a positive result so that we can qualify.
"Playing in front of 70,000 fans will not be easy, but we have a big chance, and we want to take advantage."
In fact, even a draw will earn Italy a place into the finals of the World Cup in South Africa.