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Bring it On

SUPER-confident Giovanni Trapattoni has thrown down the gauntlet to Slaven Bilic, Vicente del Bosque and Cesare Prandelli and told Ireland's Euro 2012 rivals: "My players can do this with their eyes shut!"

Turning tradition on its head by naming his team for the Euro 2012 opener a full week in advance, Trapattoni confirmed that the eleven players who start against Hungary in Budapest tonight will also start against Croatia.

"That is the team which helped us achieve qualification and they are all in good form, We could not change but we consolidate," he said.

"My guarantee is this. We could play with our eyes closed now. When we need to change, the other players play the same. All is very, very well."

This sense of belief has been growing within the Ireland camp for the last two weeks and for Robbie Keane, for the last year.

"I think the group has been close but particularly in the last year. Irish team spirit is always good but this is special," he said.