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Today's Games Could Be Crucial For Ireland's Chances Of Euro 2016 Glory

Today's Games Could Be Crucial For Ireland's Chances Of Euro 2016 Glory
By Gary Reilly
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Beating Italy and going out of the tournament with four points in the bag would be about as sickening an experience as we could possibly have. Granted, we may be the kings of the moral victory, but that would just be too much to stomach. Give us a pasting from the Italians and just send us on our way.

But before we fall on our sword in the most magnanimous of circumstances, it's worth noting that by the time we face the Italians in Lille on Wednesday night, we may already know that a win will guarantee us safe passage through to the last 16.

Albania did us a favour on Sunday night ensuring that Group A are likely to only get two places in the final 16. England however, failed to hold up their end of the bargain last night, with Slovakia's four points in third (and a goal difference of 0) likely to get them through.

So all that means is that we still need some results to go our way. But first thing's first. What results do Ireland need to see?

Group E

Just in case this image isn't already burned into your eyelid:

What we need: To beat the Italians. Nice and straightforward. Nothing else will do.

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That would be our part done but before that guarantees us one of those third place spots at the very least, we need to see at least one of the following happen tonight. Our goal difference means that unless we hand out a bit of a spanking to Antonio Conte's side, four points may not even be enough to make it through as one of the top four third placed sides, which is why tonight could yet be crucial for our plans to still be enjoying ourselves in France at the weekend.

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Group C

What we need: We need Northern Ireland to fail. From a camaraderie point of view, plenty of us would like to see them do well but that goes out the window when it comes down to the nitty gritty. Many would say that this is our best chance of going into the Italy game with our destiny in out own hands. Germany win and the best a third place team can do in Group C is finish on three points.

However, a draw or a win for Michael O'Neill's side means we'll have to look to Group D at 8 o'clock to know where we stand.

Group D

What we need:

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Spain spanking Croatia could potentially be of interest to us but it's more likely going to be the game between the Czechs and Turkey that we have most interest in. A win for Turkey or a draw would be perfect.

So, in short. We're looking for one of the following tonight:

Germany to beat Northern Ireland or Turkey draw with/beat Czech Republic.

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We get any of those results and we'll know that a win in Lille is 'all' we'll have to do to make it out of Group E. If not, we'll have to wait for the final games in Group F to know our fate.

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