Keane and Co Set to Spoil Strachan’s Scottish Revolution.
Republic of Ireland travel to Celtic Park knowing a win will send them seven points clear of the Tartan Army. Qualification looms for the Boys in Green.
We all know that the return of the International scene after a breath-taking few weeks of English football is very rarely well received. However, this weekend’s Euro 2016 Qualification gives a perfect opportunity to rekindle that passion with a blockbuster of a tie, as Scotland host the Republic of Ireland.
Overselling it? Perhaps, but one thing’s for sure: the Group D clash between Ireland and Scotland on Friday night gives an opportunity to win big on any accumulators, specials or match bets. A quick browse over the odds, across a range of sites such as: Bet 365, Betfair, BetFred, reveals that the bookies are all backing the Scots to take full use of the home advantage- with an average of 13/10 for a home win, whilst the boys from the Emerald Isle sit pretty with a projection of 22/10. There are many free bets available for this match from a variety of bookmakers.
This should give great encouragement to back an Irish win as, despite the significant improvement under Strachan, Scotland have so far struggled- particularly in the home tie against Georgia- to both finish their chances and develop on any tactical upheaval the famous Scot has implemented. Having so far taken four points to the Irish seven, they have also failed to place more than 30% of their shots on target, let alone stick them in the back of the net. Indeed, Strachan’s implementation of a rigid 4-5-1 system has certainly given solidity to a previously floppy Scottish backline, yet they look nervous on the attack and too set in stone to adapt to the pressures of a fast-paced breakaway that the Irish will produce.
With the current Ireland a country mile ahead of the team that bumbled along through the previous era of Trappatoni. We’re in the midst of an Irish renaissance as the tactical nous of Martin O’Neill and the hard-nosed determination of Roy Keane is visible in a team that looks both organised, and quick on the counter. This will prove crucial come Friday, as Ireland will be bolstered by the return of a rejuvenated Shane Long, who grabbed two goals at the weekend, and is clearly in contention for a starting berth: he himself sits on 10/3 as an anytime goal scorer. With Long sitting at the top of a 4-2-3-1; aided by the high-flying Aiden McGeady, you have to say that it is too much to ask for Scotland to contain Ireland.
What about the home advantage? Well with Celtic Park being the home to Glasgow’s Boys in Green, you have to feel that there will be a fervent atmosphere that will not be resistant to the Irish, whilst the Celtic presence of Anthony Stokes and veteran McGeady will be well received by the Scot’s crowd.
The depth of talent is also another consideration for your match bet, whilst the Irish can call on fifteen Premier League players, the Scottish can only call on eight. The introduction of new players such as Ranger’s Lewis McLeod and Heart’s Callum Paterson, also leaves Strachan not knowing his best team against O’Neill’s bedded in setup.
|*Odds correct at time of research.|
|Prediction: Ireland to win 2-1.|
Overall, I’m looking for an Ireland win, but the recent signs of improvement from The Tartan Terriers means that they could get themselves on the score sheet, look for both teams to score in a tie of intrigue and passion.
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