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Tuesday’s results mean that Group B is still impossible to call

| 13.10.2010

Group B is truly anyone’s to win after Tuesday night’s European qualifying results.

The Republic of Ireland followed their disappointing defeat at home to Russia with a credible draw in Slovakia.

Sean St Ledger put Ireland ahead after a quarter of an hour, but Jan Durica equalised with a header.

Captain Robbie Keane then had a great chance to give his side the lead with a penalty, but it was saved by Everton reserve keeper Jan Mucha.

The result leaves Ireland and Slovakia tied on seven points from four games each, alongside Armenia who thrashed minnows Andorra 4-0 last night.

Russia are top and pressed home their advantage with a win in Macedonia to give them nine points – they’re the favourites to win group B at 2/5.

Ireland are second favourites to top the group at 4/1 with Slovakia behind that at 9/2.

Macedonia who are bottom on four points are 66/1 and surprise package Armenia are 125/1 to win the group.

Russia face a tricky double header against Armenia when the 2012 European qualifying resumes in March, and Russia will target at least four points as they look to stay top.

Ireland and Slovakia will both be confident that they can keep the pressure on as they both have straightforward double headers against Macedonia and Andorra respectively.

Ireland’s chances are likely to be determined in the first week of September 2011, when they welcome Slovakia to Dublin before travelling to Russia.

Four points from those games would put the Republic in a very strong position to qualify for their first major tournament since 2002.

Russia and Slovakia face each other in October and whichever teams comes out on top will also be in a very commanding position.

With so many upsets already, the group is proving tough to call but the Irish have as good a chance as any.

Republic of Ireland are 4/1 to win Group B. Follow the full Euro 2012 qualifying market here.



Richard Anderson