After Saturday evening’s abysmal showing in Georgia, I think every Ireland fan has lost a bit of their soul to Tbilisi.
Luckily for those braving the Serbia clash, they only need to commute home from Dublin this time. Presumably after another crushing disappointment that discards the impetus in Group D.
Serbia (and Montenegro, prior to their split) was formed as a republic after the dissolution of Yugoslavia. It’s a bit like when Brian McFadden left Westlife.
You’re recognisable, but nobody thinks you’re relevant anymore.
That being said, Ireland had 24% of the ball against Georgia. They completed sixty passes. One pass every minute and a half. Try and see if you can place these three bets in the next ninety seconds – if you can, you’re officially more efficient than a Martin O’Neill side.
Half Time Correct Score: 0-0 (11/8)
The only thing we can be sure of is that Ireland will be afforded more of the ball. It’s like giving Paul Merson a Rubik’s cube – you’ll know he’ll embarrass himself, so you may as well. Build-up in general play, a very basic footballing concept, completely baffles Martin O’Neill sides it seems, so Serbia will be happy to sit and watch them stare blankly at each other. It’s a game likely to be worthy of Michael Owen’s commentary.
First Goalscorer: Dusan Tadic (13/2)
If there’s a goal in this game, it will probably come from a set piece. Tadic takes any Serbian free-kicks from within thirty yards as well as penalties, so he may be worth siding with on this occasion because of that. He’s also got a goals per game ratio of one in four, so he knows how to find the net. He scored in the reverse fixture in fact – from the spot. On top of that, he’s in form in this campaign; notching in four of Serbia’s seven games to this point.
Serbia to win by exactly one goal: (16/5)
Ireland, if nothing else, don’t concede many. They haven’t even the decency to let other teams entertain the Irish public. This one will be tight, as you can see by the short prices available for under 2.5 goals. Serbia to win by a goal (a Dusan Tadic goal, hopefully) is the play here. They’ll leave Dublin with Group D all but sewn up – before leaving Ireland to ponder whether or not it wants a send another turkey to the Eurovision to regain its national pride.