Republic of Ireland enter a winner-takes-all encounter against Poland to end a breathless qualifying group for Euro 2016, but unfortunately for Martin O’Neill’s side, the elation of defeating Germany may well be short lived.
Home advantage and a certain striker in mind-bending form could be the clinchers for the Poles as they go in search for the point they need to book an automatic spot at next summer’s tournament and consign Ireland to the play-offs.
Ladbrokes’ match odds paint a picture of the adversity Ireland must overcome, despite coming through Group D with four points from six against a team which lifted the World Cup prior to the campaign beginning.
Had this game been staged in Dublin, then clearly the odds would probably be just about reversed, but in Warsaw Poland have been a genuine force.
Adam Nawalka’s free scorers have collected 10 of 12 points available to them, defeating Germany 2-0, thumping a plucky Georgian outfit 4-0, putting eight pat Gibraltar and only dropping points when drawing 2-2 with Scotland.
The Poles have scored nine more times than any other country in Group D and in the shape of skipper Robert Lewandowski, they have a near indomitable goal-scoring force.
Forget Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo or Neymar, so far this season Lewandowski is the hottest property on the planet ahead of this crunch encounter.
His brace against Scotland last time out took his tally for club and country to 21 in 14 appearances, 14 of which have arrived in his last five outings.
It could be said, therefore, that Ladbrokes are sticking themselves directly in the crosshairs with one of their headline offers on the game.
The bookmaker is enhancing the price on the Bayern Munich hitman to score as part of a Polish win from 9/5, out to 2/1.
Lewandowski is also the only port of call for Ladbrokes’ Sharp Shooter* offer on live matches at odds of 10/3 to grab the first goal.
Alternatively, Shane Long to score and the Republic of Ireland to win was 5/1 and is now 7/1.
*Place a First Player To Score bet in any English or Scottish league or cup match, or European matches involving British teams which is broadcast live on TV and if your winning First Goalscorer nets in the first 25 minutes, Ladbrokes will double the odds for stakes up to £/€25. Click here for full T’s & C’s.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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