Thursday evening sees Spain and Republic of Ireland go head to head in a match where both sides are desperate for the points, as Paddy Power are getting in the spirit by refunding bets if Spain win the game.

Spain had a stalemate with Italy last time out with a 1-1 draw. The current holders of the competition were not at their best in the match so will have been happy with the point.

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Vicente Del Bosque chose not to start a recognised striker for this one, instead going for David Silva and Cesc Fabregas in a more advanced role. These two combined superbly for the equalising goal that Fabregas scored.

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Fernando Torres did come on in the second half but failed to convert a number of chances which will be a worry for Del Bosque and he will need the Chelsea man to find some form if they are to go far in the competition.

In terms on the match betting, Spain are the big favourites to win their first match of Euro 2012. You can back them at 2/7.

As for Republic of Ireland, they will be extremely disappointed with their performance in the 3-1 defeat to Croatia.

Giovanni Trapattoni’s men philosophy is all about being hard to beat and they had not lost a game for 14 matches, including eleven clean sheets. So when they gave sloppy goals away, Trapattoni would have been left fuming.

Ireland seemed to lack ideas and a playmaker in the middle of the park too. They never really got Captain Robbie Keane into the match.

It does not get any easier for Trapattoni’s side now with a match against the World Champions. They will need to return to the same form that saw them qualify for the tournament and hope to hit Spain on the counter attack.

It will certainly take something special for Ireland to win this match and they are being offered at 12/1.

It all gets underway from 7.45pm on Thursday.