The Republic of Ireland host Greece in a Euro 2024 qualifier on Friday night and the hosts are in need of a miracle if they are to secure a place in next summer’s tournament in Germany.
We preview this fixture by taking a look at some of the best markets on offer.
Brighton & Hove Albion striker Evan Ferguson will be available for Ireland after he pulled out of the last camp through injury, which may offer supporters some glimmer of hope for what is left of this qualifying campaign.
James McClean, John Egan, Caoimhin Kelleher and Aaron Connolly are all unavailable through injury, with Sammie Szmodics coming in as a late call-up for the latter.
Over 2.5 goals @ 6/4
When these two sides last met Greece emerged victorious, beating Ireland 2-1, with Matt Doherty getting sent off deep into injury time. This was a result that saw a lot of fans’ patience with manager Stephen Kenny wearing thin, and with Ireland having lost four of their five matches in Group B, it feels as though he will not be in the hot seat for much longer.
However, Kenny will see these next two fixtures as an opportunity to deliver a show for the masses which could give him a lifeline or see him end his reign on a high. He will try and have his side pumped up for this clash on home soil because while their chances of reaching the tournament finals next year are slim, it isn’t impossible. But of course a lot has to go in their favour for such a miracle to be achieved.
Back to the game itself, in Ireland’s last six fixtures in all competitions have seen at least three goals in the game, while at least three goals have been scored in three of Greece’s last six outings. At 6/4 over 2.5 goals seems like a solid selection for this fixture.
Ireland or draw and both teams to score (Yes) @ 7/4
While it does seem like change might soon be afoot in the Ireland dugout, Kenny will be trying to do everything in his power to show people that he is capable of getting his squad up to international tournament standard, and able to compete with the big boys.
This home game against Greece will be huge for him and his players to give the fans something to cheer about because this qualifying campaign has been nothing short of a disaster thus far.
Greece are an aggressive team who got the better of the Boys in Green when they last met, but on home soil, Ireland should be able to deliver a feisty display of their own, something which the fans are desperate to see.
We have already explained why we think there will be a few goals in this game, and we also feel that both teams will get on the scoresheet. But trying to call the outcome of this game is difficult. That is why we think a smart option could be to back a double chance of Ireland or draw and both teams to score, because it offers good value, especially when you don’t know what kind of Ireland performance to expect.