Mick McCarthy is facing his fifth game as Ireland manager in his second stint in charge and it’s so far so good, as we’ve won three and drawn one.
Ireland’s opponents to date haven’t been much to write home about – bar the 1-1 draw in Copenhagen against Denmark where we fared well enough on the stats front and deserved the point we took home.
The last time an Irish team managed by Mick McCarthy faced the Swiss at home was in a 2002 Euro Qualifier, that ended in a 2-1 defeat, in what was to end Mick’s first phase in charge of the Boys in Green.
But that was then and this is now.
The Swiss come to town with four points from two games having beaten Georgia and drawn with the Danes – a set of results similar to our own. In Ireland’s last 10 wins, we have won six of them by a single goal. With our fondness for low-scoring games, Ireland to win by exactly 1 goal @ 4/1 looks a good bet.
A bonus for the Irish team is that the visitors have named their two-game squad with the notable absentee of Xherdan Shaqiri – who has made himself unavailable as he wants to concentrate on his club commitments with Liverpool, where he has been a bit-part player recently.
This Irish team will be keen to take something from the game and have every right to fancy themselves.
If previous form is anything to go by, Ireland’s best chance of a goal will likely come from a set-piece or a shot from outside the box.
So we’re going to put up Shane Duffy as a first goalscorer bet at 18/1 and Aston Villa’s Conor Hourihane – who netted the winner against Georgia – to score anytime over the 90 minutes at 13/2.
*Prices correct at time of publishing