Ireland v Sweden: Robbie’s Keane to find the net against Ibrahimovic

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The Boys in Green may head into this crunch World Cup qualifier as underdogs for the win at 9/5 but if LA Galaxy’s Robbie Keane is in the mood, Ireland fans could be in for a Hollywood ending.

In 127 games for the Republic, Keane has notched up 59 goals making him Ireland’s record goalscorer and after adding to that tally in recent matches he could be a tempting prospect to score the opening goal against Sweden at 5/1.

The 33-year-old has scored five in the Green Army’s last four matches, including a hat-trick in their last World Cup qualifier against the Faroe Islands.

And while Ireland have begun to pick up momentum in the group, Sweden have endured a stuttering campaign, losing to Austria and only just squeezing past the aforementioned Faroes with a 2-0 win.

They head into this match as favourites at 8/5 for the win though and with Zlatan Ibrahimovic in their ranks they have a world class goalscorer capable of turning the game in their favour.

The man who calls himself Ibracadabra has five goals in his last two games making odds of 7/4 on a goal at anytime against Ireland a worthy punt.

Much could come down to the form of the two front men with Keane no doubt eager to emulate his previous form against their Scandinavian opponents.

Ireland’s last win over Sweden came back in 2006, with Keane finding the net for the Green Army on that occasion and with 11/4 available on a Republic win with a goal from the former Spurs frontman.

These two have already met once in qualifying, with that game ending in a drab 0-0 draw and you can get odds of 9/4 on there being another stalemate with a goalless draw priced at 7/1.

But with rivals Austria expected to lose to group leaders Germany, this game could be a chance for one side to steal a march on the rest as the race for second place intensifies so expect entertainment.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publication

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Jack Beresford

Jack Beresford is a content writer with over five years of experience in writing about sport and betting, including a two-year spell with Axonn Media. Contributes articles to HereIsTheCity and Lad Bible, while previous credits include Bwin, FTB Pro, Bleacher Report and the QBE rugby. Avid follower of tennis, rugby union, motorsport and football, Jack also writes about poker for Cardspiel.com alongside Guardian journalist Dominic Wells.