Republic of Ireland v Georgia – Three points for the Irish in Dublin
Can the Irish improve upon their draw in Serbia last month by winning against Georgia on Thursday evening?
October 5th, 2016
Martin O’Neill’s Ireland fired themselves into the last eight of this summer’s European Championships with victory over Italy on their way there. They were dumped out of the competition by hosts France and have launched their qualifying campaign for the 2018 World Cup in similar fashion by taking a point from their opening match in Serbia last month.
The Republic took the lead through the efforts of Jeff Hendrick just three minutes from the start but the hosts levelled the score thanks to a goal from Filip Kostic and went ahead seven minutes later through a Dusan Tadic penalty. Daryl Murphy found the net some ten minutes from time and a point apiece was the outcome at the final whistle.
Next up for O’Neill’s men is a home clash with Georgia and the hosts will be in high spirits following the news that their boss has signed a contract extension which will see him in charge right up to the 2018 World Cup and perhaps beyond.
Now that these discussions have been concluded, O’Neill can now concentrate on the matter in hand, namely winning against Georgia in front of the expectant home crowd on Thursday evening. Georgia lost 2-1 to Austria in their opening World Cup qualifier and with just three wins in fourteen attempts we believe that they will manage nothing for their troubles on Thursday evening, especially so since their form on the road is particularly dismal with defeat in eight of their last ten games away from home. As such it isn’t a shock to see the hosts billed as odds-on favourites with William Hill going 1/2 for an Irish victory.
Those looking for a better price should consider backing an Irish win-to-nil with BetVictor going Evens for such an outcome. Ireland kept three clean sheets in their European Championship qualifying games at home and there is little reason to believe that this won’t be the case on Thursday evening.
Now that Robbie Keane has retired, it will be left to Shane Long and Jonathan Walters to bang in the goals and we’ll be backing one of these two to get onto the scoreline on Thursday evening. Long isn’t enjoying the best of form at the moment with an absence of goals in his last sixteen outings, although Walters banged in two against Oman in an August friendly and looks a good bet on the Anytime Goalscorer market at 7/4 with Sky Bet.