The Republic of Ireland are set to take on Mexico in New Jersey this Thursday night (Friday morning in the ROI!) as a warm up to their respective World Cup Qualifiers.
This game has been mooted by Martin O’Neill as a chance for players from the English Championship to regain match fitness having not played for a month.
It’s also a second chance for the fringe players who disappointed in a narrow defeat to Iceland last time out. With a potential group decider at home to Austria on the horizon for the Boys in Green, these players should be chomping at the bit to be involved.
Burnley defender Kevin Long and Preston midfielder Alan Browne are two likely new debutants.
Brown’s fellow club man, Daryl Horgan, was one of the only players to make an impact in that game and O’Neill will be under pressure from the media to give him a good run out this time.
If he gets enough game time, 11/2 looks a reasonable price for Horgan to score anytime.
Meanwhile, injuries mean that James McCarthy and Shane Long miss out. Long’s absence leaves only Daryl Murphy and David McGoldrick as recognised strikers in the squad.
Neither are particularly prolific scorers and it’s likely that James McClean will have a stint up top.
From an Irish perspective the Derry man looks our best chance of a goal and is currently priced at 7/2 to get on the scoresheet.
Verdict: Anytime Scorer – James McClean @ 7/2
Mexico are no doubt a stronger side but are lacking options at the back with veteran defender Rafa Marquez returning from a serious back injury. And they’re also without Nester Araujo, who broke his hand in the 2-1 loss to Croatia.
Manager Juan Carlos Osorio faces less of a headache on the attacking front. One of Mexico’s brightest young talents Hirving Lozano, priced at 6/1 to score first, has the ability to cut inside from the left flank and cause the Irish defence a lot of trouble.
Meanwhile, Javier Hernandez became Mexico’s all-time top scorer when he bagged his 47th international goal against Croatia last time out and is probably the best bet to grab a goal.
But for a bit of value, I’ll have Hernandez to score two or more.
Verdict: Javier Hernandez to score 2 or more goals @ 7/2
I wouldn’t expect a classic or this game to be a high-scoring affair. So, with a dull first-half in mind it could also be worth backing the draw in the first-half result market at even-money.
The game is scheduled for 01:00 Irish time, so it’s likely to go under the radar.
There won’t exactly be a nation watching, holding its breath, driving the team to give it a lash and as such I can’t see this being a spirited performance from the tourists.
I’d expect Mexico to win but taking an odds-on price on a friendly game is a bit risky, so I’ll have Mexico to Win & Under 3.5 Goals.
Verdict: First-Half Result – Draw @ Evens
Verdict: Mexico Win & Under 3.5 Goals @ 21/20
Good luck and come on you Boys in Green!
Click here for the latest Mexico v Republic of Ireland odds.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing