Ireland skipper and record goalscorer Robbie Keane has been ruled out of his country’s crucial final Euro 2012 Pool B game against Armenia this evening.
It’s a bitter blow for the Irish who need at least a point against the visitors to guarantee a play-off spot behind Russia, who must surely hammer Andorra in their last game.
West Bromwich Albion striker Simon Cox will deputise though and Ireland are still expected to come away with the result they need…
Despite the injury to Keane, Ireland still head into the game as favourites at 4/6 – but they will have their work cut out.
They only came through 1-0 in Armenia last year and tonight’s visitors have won their previous three qualifying games with an aggregate score of 11-1.
Armenia are 4/1 to get the win they need to force a play-off place.
However, with Ireland only needing a draw to qualify and the Irish drawing their previous two home games, backing the scores to be level at the end of play may be worth a punt at 11/4.
Ireland haven’t conceded a goal at home in their previous four games and have only hit the net once in their last three.
Prior to their previous two games against poor Andorra and Slovakia sides, Armenia had only scored four goals in their previous ten away games.
With so much on the line, this promises to be an extremely tight affair, so backing under 2.5 goals looks well worth a punt at a very decent 8/11.