In build up to a massive weekend in World Cup qualification, Republic of Ireland fans are coming to terms with this uncomfortable feeling called confidence. Martin O’Neill’s men have a chance to put seven points between themselves and a severely weakened Austria side.
An Ireland win, currently priced at 6/5, would effectively make it a battle between two or three teams at the top, depending on the Servia v Wales result on Sunday evening.
Austria have lost a significant amount of first team members, most notably Marko Arnautovic, Marc Janko and Marcel Sabitzer who between them have scored seven of Austria’s eight goals in the campaign. Ireland’s excellent defensive record this campaign will no doubt be intimidating the less experienced stand-in strikers.
The pick of the quotes to back this up came from Hamburg attacker Michael Gregortisch describing the Ireland team as “Refrigerators and Man-Eaters”. Marcel Koller’s men should find it difficult to score.
Verdict: Rep of Ireland to win to nil @ 12/5
Number of Teams to Score – One @ 6/5
I also like the 23/10 on Ireland to win the first half, as they will not want to allow Austria to settle and grow into the game and should have a go from the early stages. To back this up Harry Arter has been mooted to replace Glenn Whelan in the midfield, which would add a more fluid and forward passing game from the Republic.
Another worry for Austria is that their current goalkeeper hasn’t played for his country since the 2-2 draw with Rep of Ireland in 2013 and should be keenly tested in the opening stages.
James McClean hasn’t been shy in getting shots away and is currently third behind Cristiano Ronaldo & Slovenia’s Josip Illinic for most shots in the campaign. Without Shane Long in the team, he will no doubt act as the focal point for quick counter attacks and he looks well-priced to get on the scoresheet.
Verdict: First Half Result – Rep of Ireland @ 21/10
From an Austrian perspective, it’s all about David Alaba. The Bayern man has underperformed since Euro 2016 but will be heavily relied on to produce the goods. Regardless of if he starts at left back or not, he will likely be on free taking duty as well as penalties. So, if anyone does net for the visitors, the 12/1 for Alaba to score looks as good a bet as any.
Robbie Brady will cover these duties from an Irish perspective and will likely be deployed further up the pitch. That means the 17/2 for Brady to score first could be well worth backing, but I’m going to try my hand at a value long-shot and go with Robbie Brady to score first and Ireland to win 2-0.
Verdict: First Goal Scorecast – Robbie Brady & Rep of Ireland 2-0 @ 50/1
Good luck and Come on You Boys In Green!
Click here for the latest Republic of Ireland v Austria odds.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing