Rep of Ire vs NI: Depleted hosts should still prove too strong
Giovanni Trapattoni may be without ten of the players that he initially selected for this squad to face Northern Ireland, but this should still prove no hindrance in the Republic of Ireland claiming a second Carling Nations Cup victory.
The Republic of Ireland kicked off their tournament with a comfortable 3-0 win over Wales and are 8/15 to make it back-to-back successes by beating Northern Ireland.
Despite winning just two of their last five games at the Aviva Stadium, Trapattoni’s men should benefit from home advantage, while still retaining the stronger squad.
Northern Ireland are 6/1 to bounce back with victory after losing their Carling Nations Cup opener 3-0 against Scotland.
They can take confidence from tasting success on the last occasion that they faced the Republic of Ireland, when Danny Griffin scored the only goal in a 1-0 triumph at Lansdowne Road in 1999.
However, Northern Ireland have won just one of their last eight games in all competitions and with many senior players absent, Nigel Worthington will have to rely on youth in order to gain a result.
It is 11/4 in the Carling Nations Cup odds that the clash ends all square.
Northern Ireland’s big problem generally tends to be scoring goals and with no David Healy in the squad and chief provider Chris Brunt absent, this shortage of goals seems unlikely to improve against the Republic of Ireland.
Worthington’s men have only managed a combined three goals in their last six games and it is 1/1 that the Republic of Ireland keep a clean sheet.
The Republic of Ireland may have their own scoring difficulties with Kevin Doyle and Anthony Stokes missing, but the 11/2 on offer that they win 2-0 remains the best bet in the correct scoreline market.
A £30 stake on the scorecast of Robbie Keane scoring first and the Republic of Ireland winning 2-0 would return £480. New customers can sign up here for a free £30 bet.