Gibraltar v Republic of Ireland: Value in the Keane hat-trick

Ladbrokes staking the Republic of Ireland as 1/100 favourites to beat Gibraltar, in the first of their Euro 2016 qualifiers this international break, says everything about the disparity between the two sides.

Just like when San Marino are in action, the question is not whether the minnows’ opponents will win the match, rather how many they will score.

The Group D bottom feeders’ results in the qualifying campaign thus far, all of them losses, are eye watering: 7-0, 4-0, 6-1, 4-0, 3-0, 7-0 and 7-0.

That singular strike in favour of the Gibraltarians, against Scotland at Hampden Park, was so unexpected that Ladbrokes aren’t even offering odds of them repeating the trick against Martin O’Neill’s side.

With betting avenues particularly limited by the dominance expected from the Irish, the correct-score market remains a punting field still ripe for some activity.

Jeff Wood’s side have lost 7-0 three times during the course of their first ever major tournament qualifying campaign and a fourth such result is priced at 8/1 by Ladbrokes.

Indeed, O’Neill’s men were one of the three sides to inflict that scoreline on Gibraltar when playing them in the reverse fixture, so a dabble on that price looks a wise move.

No Uefa-recognised nation has stuck more than seven goals beyond the Gibraltarians’ keeper so 21/20 on there being over 5.5-strikes in the match looks to be the limit in the total-goals market.

There have been four hat-tricks plundered by opposition players against Team 54 during this qualifying phase and Robbie Keane leads the betting to score the fifth with Ladbrokes at 7/2.

It would be the fourth triple of the LA Galaxy front man’s international career and would follow the match-ball-collecting haul he registered the last time these sides met.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.