Rep. Ireland v Austria: Hosts to build on stellar point with crucial win
In search of their first home Group C win, 21/20 Republic of Ireland will be brimming with confidence when attempting to achieve it at Austria’s expense.
That is in light of a superb 0-0 draw away to Sweden last time out, in a match which represented the hosts’ second in succession where they weren’t breached.
Robbie Keane’s absence will arguably be the biggest detriment to their chances here, but the Irish are blessed to have a settled central defensive partnership available.
With their solid backline intact, they could complete a hat-trick of clean sheets at 11/8, and have a fantastic opportunity to triumph without conceding at 21/10.
Their visitors, 11/4 for the win, are currently ahead of Ireland on goal difference in the group standings, and a draw would be a good result for them at 9/4.
But by contrast, if Giovanni Trapattoni’s men are to make a fist of World Cup qualification, victory is essential for them in this bout.
Last time out at the Aviva Stadium, they prospered by a 2-0 scoreline in a friendly with Poland, and with the stakes considerably higher here, a repeat success would be ideal.
15/2 is available regarding a 2-0 home triumph, whilst punters who expect a relatively comfortable win for the hosts, but are reluctant to indulge in correct score betting, should instead turn their attention to handicap markets.
Trapattoni’s charges are 13/5 to victor giving up a goal head-start, and those feeling an even more dominant Irish display is in store can have 7/1 regarding the home side overcoming a theoretical two-goal disadvantage.
As aforementioned, Keane’s unavailability through injury will hamper the Green Army, but it also represents a massive opportunity for Ireland’s second string.
Kevin Doyle has been called up as an emergency replacement, and thus is unlikely to play from the off, but he could prove a value 7/1 shot to close the scoring, given he has more international strikes than any other Irish reserve forward.
Meanwhile, Stoke’s Jonathan Walters could get the chance to start in his preferred position as a central striker, and he looks a tempting first scorer prospect, at 7/1 also.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.