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Given plots Spain surprise

SoccerNews in European Championships, La Liga 13 Jun 2012

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Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Shay Given believes his side must take inspiration from England’s 1-0 win over Spain in November 2011.

Giovanni Trapattoni’s Ireland side face a crucial clash with the world and European champions at in Group C of Euro 2012 on Wednesday.

Ireland sit bottom of Group C after a 3-1 defeat to Croatia in their opening game of the tournament, while Spain drew 1-1 with Italy.

Ireland know a draw against Spain will leave them in with a chance of reaching the quarter-finals, while a defeat will see them eliminated.

And Given believes England’s 1-0 friendly win on home turf over Spain last November could provide some insight for his side heading into the clash.

“We saw England beat Spain 1-0 at Wembley,” Given told reporters.

“So we can take things from that … how they played and stuff. Hopefully, we can do something similar.”

Ireland’s only goal of the tournament so far came via a set-piece as Sean St Ledger headed home Aiden McGeady’s deep free kick against Croatia.

And Given believes dead-ball situations could prove to be an avenue for success against Spain, as Trapattoni’s men look to take advantage of their superior height advantage.

“One of the biggest things will probably be set pieces,” Given said.

“They’re renowned for maybe not being the biggest team in the competition and we’ve got some big players in our team so if we get some of the right deliveries in there, as we saw against Croatia with the goal that we scored, we’ve got the players who can get on to balls in the box.”

Given had been an injury doubt for the Irish in the build-up to Euro 2012 after calf and knee problems hampered his preparations for the tournament.

Despite having to sit out several training sessions prior to the finals, Given insists he was fully-fit heading into the clash with Croatia.

“Ideally, I’d have liked to have trained more over the last couple of weeks,” Given said.

“Did it affect me? Not really, no. I wouldn’t have played if I wasn’t 100 percent fit, so I was fine.”

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