Ireland vs Macedonia betting
Ireland vs Macedonia odds
Republic of Ireland: Euro Champion Qualifying Group Position: 2nd, Group Form: WWLD
With no Shay Given long term and Richard Dunne doubtful, and Leon Best and Seamus Coleman having withdrawn themselves from the squad with ankle injuries, the only positive fitness news is that Captain Robbie Keane is expected to start. Although without much first choice football in the past three weeks, he is still vital to his sides chances. Manager Trapattoni must be confident, having said on Keane “maybe after 60 minutes we can look at other options.”
Their group form has been good, and sees them in second place of European Championship Qualifying Group B, two points behind leaders Russia, after four games. Two wins, a draw and a defeat, at home to Russia can leave them confident of at least taking the playoff spot come the end of qualification, but to do this they must beat second rate teams like Macedonia.
Keane is the most experienced of a growing attacking threat, with Kevin Doyle, Aidan McGeady and others growing into their potential more and more with every game.
Macedonia: European Champion Qualifying Group Position: 5th, Group Form: LDWL
What to say about Macedonia? They have one player of real international repute in their squad, Goran Pandev, top scorer in his nation’s history over their only other notable player, Georgi Hristov. Results during and before the qualification are mixed, beating Andorra away and drawing with Armenia at home, whilst only losing by a goal each time against Slovenia and Russia in qualification. They also beat Romania in a friendly before the group stage started, which shows they are definitely improving.
Scoring only in games they’ve attained points, they are clearly not venturing forward at pace against teams they are not expecting to beat. Ireland shouldn’t be a team they can take more than a point from, and any positive result would be a shock.
To see how their qualifying campaigns usually go, they won only two games in World Cup Qualifying for South Africa 2010, one of them a shock home win over Scotland. Otherwise, they are generally beaten by teams of Ireland’s stature, and many below that.
Match Prediction: Ireland Win – Victor Chandler
It’s hard to see Ireland dropping points here, and if they want to qualify then they need to win games like this. They can still take first place, but only if they keep a high class record. Russia will take some stopping, so Ireland must be Macedonia.
Frankly, unless Pandev takes the game and single handedly takes Ireland down, Trapattoni’s men should take a comfortable three points.
The Irish beat Andorra 3-1 with ease, whilst Macedonia beat them 2-0 away from home. Clearly, the Macedonians aren’t pushovers, but they have little else than Pandev to threaten, and the Irish do carry a good attacking threat. A two goal margin in an Irish win would be of no surprise, neither would it shock if in form Kevin Doyle fired for them.
Over/Under: Under 2.5 Goals – 1.67 Bet 365
First Goalscorer: Kevin Doyle – 6.5 Victor Chandler
Correct Score: 2-0 Ireland Win – 6.5 Bet Fred
By Chris Wilkerson
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