Kazakhstan v Ireland: Low-scoring affair looks a certainty
The Republic of Ireland were terribly disappointing at Euro 2012 despite their tough group and going some way to putting this right will be their chief goal in their first World Cup qualifier.
However, the goals are unlikely to flow in Kazakhstan and easily the best bet looks to be that under 2.5 goals will be scored in the Group C clash at 8/13.
Ireland know that this is already a must-win game if they harbour realistic ambitions of reaching the next World Cup, with Germany and Sweden among the other opposition in the group.
Kazakhstan are ranked 116 places below Ireland in the world rankings, but the Irish will have to contend without a host of their biggest stars.
Shay Given and Damien Duff have retired, Richard Dunne is injured and Keith Andrews suspended.
Ireland are 4/6 to kick off their qualification campaign with three points in Kazakhstan and they still have the attacking talents of Robbie Keane and Aiden McGeady at their disposal.
Kazakhstan may have one eye on an upset at 5/1, but have not beaten significant opposition really since defeating Estonia back in 2009.
The draw is on offer at 9/4 and 8/1 stands out in particular that the game finishes 0-0.
This has been the result of recent Ireland away friendlies with Hungary and Serbia, while they are four games without a goal.
Meanwhile, they only conceded once, in Slovakia, in all of their away fixtures to qualify for Euro 2012.
Keane is the 4/1 favourite to strike first if there is to be a goalscorer, but the better value may lie with Stoke’s Jon Walters at 6/1, as it seems that he will get the nod ahead of Shane Long and Kevin Doyle in attack.
James McCarthy is 16/1 in the same market and the Wigan man looks set to start in midfield after an impressing debut in the aforementioned friendly draw with Serbia.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.