Ireland’s preparations for Euro 2012 continue on Monday when they travel to Budapest to face a Hungary side bursting with familiar faces.
Giovanni Trapattoni’s squad will leave their training base at Montecatini in Italy to travel to Budapest for the first time since 1989 and the British-based players in the Irish squad will need no introduction to some of Hungary’s big names.
Bolton goalkeeper Adam Bogdan will challenge former Crystal Palace, West Ham, Aston Villa and Burnley stopper Gabor Kiraly for the host’s number one jersey, while QPR’s Akos Buzsaky, Newcastle’s Tamas Kadar, former Hull City midfielder Peter Halmosi and one-time Glasgow Rangers target Roland Juhasz could all feature at the Ferenc Puskas Stadium.
Hungary narrowly failed to qualify for Euro 2012 themselves despite an excellent campaign that saw them pipped to second place by Sweden on the final round of fixtures, but they haven’t beaten Ireland since a 4-0 win in Budapest in 1969.
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Trapattoni’s men will be in confident mood following their 1-0 win over Bosnia on Saturday and they will also be boosted by the fact that Robbie Keane and Richard Dunne both made it through the match unscathed despite carrying slight knocks that threatened to rule them out altogether.
The bookies are also confident that Ireland can triumph, pricing them as 7/5 favourites to emerge victorious, while Sandor Egervari’s men are given odds of 2/1 to beat the Boys in Green for the first time in more than 40 years. The draw is also available at 21/10.
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The match is the Republic’s last warm-up tie before they face Croatia in their opening game of the tournament on June 10th.
Ireland are 4/5 favourites to finish bottom of their group, compared to 4/1 to qualify for the quarter-finals.
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