The saying “they wouldn’t hit a barn door” comes to mind when you think of Irish football.
Since Robbie Keane has retired scoring goals has been Ireland’s problem. Keane got 68 goals in 146 caps and that record will not be beaten in my lifetime!
Ireland have only scored six goals in this qualifying campaign and two of them came at home to Gibraltar. The under 2.5 goals has won in all of Ireland’s group games so far and it looks certain to come in again here at 4/7.
Ireland will start the match with David McGoldrick upfront. He holds the ball up well and is not a bad player, but he is yet to score this season in the Premier League despite the fact his Sheffield United side are over performing.
Another factor you have to take into account if you are backing the unders is the form of Christian Eriksen. He is not the same player who got a hat trick and made a show of this Irish team back in 2017.
His form has dipped dramatically this season with talks of him leaving the club for Spain’s sunny shores. He averaged 0.22 goals per game last season and 0.34 assists per game.
This campaign he has only one goal and a single assist in the 10 games he’s played in the Premier League.
The future is not all doom and gloom for Ireland. With Troy Parrott and Aaron Connolly Ireland look like they are finally bringing some technically gifted players through.
Parrott didn’t score on his debut but I was really impressed with his movement and he really got stuck into the New Zealand defenders.
You love to see that kind of sh**housery, especially from a youngster. He has been on the bench in a Champions League game already this season and it looks a matter of time before he gets more first-team football.
If you said to me that Parrott and Connolly were starting upfront, with Jack Byrne playing behind, I would no doubt actually enjoy an Ireland game.
In fact, I would rather Ireland lose 5-0 and try to play nice football with our most gifted players than play Glenn Whelan and try scrape a win with a goal from a set-piece.
Yes, you read that right, Glenn Whelan is still alive and being paid to play football. He can’t even get a game for Hearts!
With the lack of creativity in midfield, Ireland’s goals are most likely to come from set-pieces. We bet you’re not shocked to read that!
Unlike McGoldrick, Shane Duffy has actually scored this season and is a real threat from dead balls.
Duffy was the second-highest scorer for Brighton in the league last season with five goals and if you are looking for a patriotic punt this is your best bet to score first at 14/1.
Why not have a double on Duffy to score first and under 2.5 goals at around 33/1. What else are you doing on a Monday night?
Under 2.5 Goals – 4/7
Shane Duffy to score first – 14/1
* All odds correct at time of posting.