Giovanni Trapattoni is hoping that Spain and Italy draw in Sunday evening’s Group C opening fixture at Euro 2012.
The Republic of Ireland Coach will face both teams in the group stages of this summer’s European Championships and recognises the importance of three points against Croatia for his team.
However, the former Italy boss suggested that even a draw with Slaven Bilic’s side will suffice for Irish hopes of a quarter-final berth, if the Azzurri also draw with Spain.
“We know perfectly well that the first match is very important, as important as the other first match, Italy against Spain,” the Italian veteran reflected on UEFA.com.
“So the first 90 minutes will have an impact on the tournament. It's very important to win the first match, which would give us a certain advantage, but it would also be important not to lose. Then you'd need to judge it in light of the Italy-Spain result.
“The first results will be important. If it's two draws, then it might be possible to qualify with four points.