Through Irish Eyes: ‘Magic Man’ Horgan to shine against Iceland

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The loss of influential captain Seamus Coleman has put a real downer on the Republic of Ireland camp. The Boys in Green should be feeling buoyant given the fact that the team took a big step forward in World Cup Qualification last week. 

From an Irish point of view, we’re joint top of Group D (second on goal difference), unbeaten in the five group games and four points clear of the chasing pack.

And yes, while the football was a bit hideous, ROI are now as short as 8/11 to qualify for World Cup 2018 and by the next round of fixtures they could be even shorter.

Wales, without key man Gareth Bale, now face a massive test away to Serbia and are now 6/5 to qualify for World Cup 2018, while the Republic of Ireland host an underperforming Austria at the Aviva next up.

At the half-way point in the group, it’s poised to be a straight battle between Rep. of Ireland at 2/1 and Serbia at 11/8 to win Group D. That is unless Wales at 4/1 and Austria at 5/1 can cause an upset in their next games and go on to finish on top.

Let’s see what the debutants can do against Iceland

Tonight’s friendly against fellow Euro 2016 over-achievers Iceland will be a welcome chance to add depth to the current squad.

Preston pair Daryl Horgan and Andy Boyle, Aston Villa’s Conor Hourihane and Brentford’s John Egan will be keenly watched as they’re expected to make their international debuts.

Given that the injuries bled all creative talent from the Irish team last week, there’s a big gap in the squad for some attacking impact.

Last year’s SSE Airtricity League player of the year Daryl Horgan, nicknamed ‘The Magic Man’ by Dundalk fans, will no doubt be well received and is worth noting as an anytime scorer at 4/1.

Robbie Brady will captain the Irish side for the first time, and as the main set piece and penalty taker, 8/1 looks a fair price for your first goal scorer bet.

Iceland are well organised and play a clever counter-attacking game. They have been in good form on their travels recently and are scoring plenty of goals on the road.

However, Rep of Ireland have a strong record at the Aviva so the enhanced boost for Rep. of Ireland to win & Both Teams To Score at 5/1 is the value selection.

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

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Declan Marron

Declan lent his voice to various radio projects before finding a home with Ladbrokes where his ramblings are now encouraged. Declan is the bookies' Irish Football reporter and can be spotted and heard giving updates on Irish international and club matches. He is also a long-suffering Liverpool supporter and defied his Dublin upbringing to support Limerick FC.