Got any plans for Tuesday evening?
Before you go and watch paint dry - keep an eye on a Saint
If you managed to sit through all 90 minutes of the Ireland game on Friday night against Switzerland, congratulations! You are either crazy or had snuck a drink or two into the pub on Good Friday. After Ciaran Clark’s third minute header and Shane Long hitting the bar after 20 minutes, there was absolutely nothing to note for the rest of the game apart from Kevin Doyle’s massive gash.
thanks for all the messages,could have been worse,bit of surgery going on now and be back very soon pic.twitter.com/UhM2TDC6Oh
— Kevin Doyle (@KevinDoyle1983) March 25, 2016
But before you switch over to Eastenders consider our argument that this could be a hugely entertaining match.
The 1-0 scoreline was not surprising for the Boys in Green on Friday night. Of the nine victories since Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane took charge of the side, three of them were by the single goal most famously against Germany. Ireland beat Germany. Shane Long scored. Just in case you forgot.
Two of the other wins were against Gibraltar so they don’t really count. But the experimental Irish squad will motor on to the Aviva again on Tuesday as they welcome Slovakia to Dublin. O’Neill has confirmed that it’ll be a mixture of squad players and debutantes again as players look to break into his final 33 man squad for the European Championships.
With a game against the Netherlands and an expected announcement of a match against Belarus in Cork in May, there’s not a lot of time left for the likes of Alan Judge, Shane Duffy and Daryl Murphy to force their way onto the plane.
So have Slovakia much to offer either? Judging by their game at the weekend, er, no not really. Just four shots on target in their 0-0 draw at home to Latvia suggest they aren’t the most proficient of teams. This was despite having 61% possession and boasting the likes of Napoli star Marek Hamsik. Even more stunning was that they managed to keep a clean sheet despite starting Martin Skrtel. To be fair to the Slovaks, 4 shots on target is the same number that the Irish had in total.
- Slovakia sit three places above Ireland in the FIFA rankings which admittedly are about as reliable as putting Aston Villa in your accumulator.
- The sides have met four times before in consecutive European Championship qualifying groups.
- Ireland are unbeaten with one win and three draws.
- Eight of the match day squad from March 2007 are in Ireland’s plans for France (Doyle, Given, O’Shea, Keane, McGeady, McShane, Long and Murphy)
A repeat of O’Neill’s favourite scoreline of 1-0 is. We know that all of Jon Walters, Murphy and Doyle will miss the game. Robbie Keane is unlikely to play so at> odds of Shane Long is our tip to open the scoring.
Elsewhere your standard bets of under 2.5 goals and both teams to score – NO are and respectively.
Relax lads, the Premier League is back this weekend everything will be fine!