Republic Of Ireland’s clash with Slovakia tonight marks a huge test for Giovanni Trappatoni’s side.
A win, and Ireland will be in a very strong position to qualify but defeat would see Slovakia edge ahead of their Irish counterparts in the group.
Ireland are expected to win at 1/1 but a tough test is in store and here we suggest some other bets that catch the eye.
Back Robbie Keane to score at anytime
Robbie Keane may have had a disappointing time of things at Tottenham Hotspur and then West Ham United last season but for Ireland he has always delivered.
In his 109 games for Ireland, Keane has bagged 51 goals and this calendar year has hit six in five – he is also Ireland’s penalty taker.
Another factor that makes this a tempting bet has been his move to Los Angeles Galaxy.
While the MLS might not be the same standard as the Premier League, Keane has been getting plenty of game time and scored on his debut.
With Slovakia keeping only two clean sheets in their previous eight games, Keane should be able to take advantage at 5/4.
Back under 2.5 goals @ 8/15
Giovanni Trapattoni’s Italian roots seem to have been paying dividends in Ireland’s recent games, with Ireland keeping things extremely tight at the back.
The men in green haven’t so much as conceded a goal in their previous five games and Slovakia will be hard pressed to find a way through the tight Irish backline.
Slovakia have not scored more than two goals in any of their last 12 games and last year’s meeting between the sides finished 1-1.
Back Ireland to be winning at half-time and full-time
All of Ireland’s last five victories have seen them winning at half-time before going on to claim victory at the final whistle.
The last time they won without leading at half-time was their 3-0 win against Wales where all the goals came in the second half.
Ireland are currently 11/5 to be winning at both half-time and full-time.