In Ireland's last major tournament, the 2002 Fifa World Cup, Robbie Keane was the side's top goal scorer, and still remains their opponents' biggest threat on the pitch. The 31-year-old was part of the so called ‘Golden Generation' of Republic of Ireland youth football in the late 90s and is now joint second, with Raul and Jan Koller on the list of all-time top scorers in European Championship qualification; although it looks unlikely he will rack up the best goal tally in the finals this year. (Robbie Keane 66/1 in Euro 2012 Betting).
Keane contributed 7 goals in qualifying for Euro 2012, which is an impressive amount considering Ireland have rarely been able to make much of an impression in the European Championships (Republic of Ireland 80/1 in Euro 2012 Betting). The LA Galaxy striker scored 3 times in 4 appearances for the republic in the 2002 World Cup, and became the 4th Irish footballer to win a century of caps in 2010.
Spartak Moscow striker Aiden McGeady is believed to have been bought for at least £9.5m from Celtic, making him the most expensive export from Scottish football. Although born in Glasgow, he is eligible to play for the Republic of Ireland thanks to his Irish born grandmother. McGeady scored his first goal for Ireland against Macedonia in Euro 2012 qualifying, which led to a 2-1 win for the Republic. He has made over 40 appearances for Ireland, being called up by manager Giovanni Trapattoni on numerous occasions, but lost his place in the starting line-up during the 2010 World Cup. He was however, named in Trapattoni's 23-man squad for Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine and at only 26-years-old, will be hoping to make an impression in this summer's campaign. (McGeady 12/1 to be first goal scorer in Ireland's friendly against Boznia & Herzegovina).
Shane Long returned to the English Premier League in 2011, joining West Brom after a season in the Championship with Reading FC. He won his first international cap in a Euro 2008 qualifier against San Marino in 2007, and scored his first goal for the Republic a year later in a friendly against Bolivia. Long is another young star in Ireland's Euro 2012 squad who will cause danger to many of his opponents.
Ireland were drawn in Group C along with Spain, Croatia and Italy and face Croatia in their opening group match on 10 June. (Ireland 9/4 in Euro 2012 Betting to finish third in Group C).
Euro 2012 Betting - Group C
16/1 Republic of Ireland